Students Action Day against the war in Iraq and other anti-war activities in Seoul
After the grim struggle last week against the bill to send South Korean troops into the war zone, last friday the first Stundents Action Day was held in Seoul. Students from several universities boycotted the classes.
In the afternoon a large and powerful rally took place in Jongmyo Park downtown Seoul. Some thousand students participated. In strong speeches they condemned the South Korean gov`t as potential war criminals, demanded the immediatelly stop of the aggression against Iraq. They also demanded the condemnation of the U.S. and British governments as war criminals.
A demonstration following the rally was not permitted by the police. Large units of riot cops blocked the ways. After some clashes with the squats, in using a flexible tactic, the demonstators leaved in small groups the park and went secretly to Lotte Department Store downtown Seoul. Exactly at 7 p.m. several thousand students took the street in front of the department store and stormed into Myeong-dong shopping area and reached Myeong-dong Cathedral. Several units of the cops tryed to block them but failed.
On the area in front of the cathedral again a powerful rally took place and was followed by a spontaneous demonstration though Seoul`s bussiest center and created a strange traffic chaos. Everybody saw this day as a really action with full success.
Saturday night a anti-war concert in Seoul`s universtity quarter Daehangno took place. The event was organized by a very active anti-war group ( http://run.to/nowar )original based in Shinchon another university quarter in Seoul. During the concert a Kurd from Iraq got the chance to speak. He told the people about the suffering of the Kurdish population under the rule of Saddam Hussein and defended the U.S.-led aggression against the Iraq. In response one person of the audience asked: "Who supported Hussein during the time of Halabja massacre (1)? Who still supports the Turkish regime in the ungoing war against the Kurdish population there? And last but not least who supported South Korean Government during the massacre on Jeju Island (2)? Of course the U.S.! So they don`t have any right to attack anyone!"
(1) in the end of the 80`s the Iraqi army bombed the kurdish village with poison gas, more then 5000 people died there
(2) in the end of the 40`s South Korean armed forces killed here more 14.000 civilians