Priests attack tent erected by migrant workers
The migrant workers have resorted to a sit-in in response to government suppression of a legal rally to have been held on April 21st calling for cancellation of the new registration system currently being implemented, which
they feel is tantamount to deportation, and also for fair legal status, minus the trainee system which is now in place.
Video, Priest attack the tent of migrant workers (Click Here)
Source :  BASE21
By Nancy Greene/Contributing Writer
Seoul, Korea--An unidentified priest manhandled a shocked and dumbfounded supporter of the migrant worker's protest sit-in yesterday held by the Equality Trade Union-Migrants Branch (ETU-MB) on the grounds of Myongdong cathedral in downtown Seoul. The unholy fracas occurred when the protesters attempted to erect a tent beside the cramped shelter they have been sharing with electric workers, also holding a sit-in, since their protest commenced on April 28.
The migrant workers have resorted to a sit-in in response to government suppression of a legal rally to have been held on April 21st calling for cancellation of the new registration system currently being implemented, which they feel is tantamount to deportation, and also for fair legal status, minus the trainee system which is now in place. At the eleventh hour, the government threatened to cancel the temporary amnesty that had been granted to undocumented workers for one day only in order to arrest those workers present that could not produce valid visa documents. As a result of this government threat, the protesters decided to engage in a less dangerous protest in the form of a sit-in.
The tent was in the final stages of being erected when seemingly out of nowhere, four priests and four assistants feverishly hurled themselves upon the tent and dismantled it. Some sixty supporters and protesters attempted to form a human chain to prevent the dismantling, but they were no match for the enraged holymen. Later, while attempting to re-erect the now rather bent and misshapen tent, the same men flew at the shelter, completely destroying it. During this second attack, the men also tried to tear down the electric worker's tent. It was during this second round of frenzied tent destruction that the frocked priest manhandled the dismayed and passive supporter.
"It was the craziest thing I've ever seen! The priests were like wild animals!", reported Kabir, a member of ETU-MB. "These are supposed to be compassionate and benevolent men. I want to send a picture to the Vatican and see what the Pope thinks of their behaviour!"
The March 25-May 25, 2002 registration system, called the voluntary reporting period, aims to give migrant workers a one year moratorium where they are exempt from all penalties due to their undocumented status purportedly giving them time to leave. But migrant workers feel that this is only a divisive attempt by the government to maintain the trainee system (which allows employers to pay workers sub-standard wages) and to introduce the new Employment Permit System (where foreign workers have trainee status for one year followed by worker status for two, whereupon they are required to leave the country) as new workers imported to replace the old ones will be under the new system.
The sit-in will continue until the government allows the workers the democratic freedom to publicly rally.
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