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Sep. 26  2018
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Christian's Photo Column 

Severe Hunger Strike Continues as Disabled Persons Struggle Against Injustice

Key members of an association for the promotion of disabled rights have been on a hunger strike at the office of the Korean Human Rights Committee since August 12th, protesting discriminatory government policies and inaccessible public transit.

Source  :  BASE21


By Kanarchist, Base21 Media Activist
kanarchy@jinbo.net

Key members of an association for the promotion of disabled rights have been on a hunger strike at the office of the Korean Human Rights Committee since August 12th, protesting discriminatory government policies and inaccessible public transit.

The association has also been unsafe holding event of riding regular buses for 17 times since last April, in order to call for low-floor buses for free moving. The police had blocked all the events, and sometimes arrested participated disabled people.

The hunger strikers were also threatened with arrest on September 18th after visiting Seoul City Hall to protest against the government failing to make public transit safe and accessible for disabled users and also its failure to publicly apologise for the death of Yoon Jae-bong, 69, who died as a result of a fall from a wheelchair lift at Balsan subway station on May 19th. .

On Sept 11th, disabled members an association for disabled rights locked down the metropolitan railroad at Seoul Station on September 11th, demanding the city of Seoul to publicly apologise for the death of Yoon. Protesters locked down the tracks by connecting themselves with chains and ladders.

Related Video: Real Player | Windows Media
Produced on September 11


Apologising for the inconvenience to subway travelers, disabled persons attending the demonstration said that the severity of the measure was warranted as nothing short of civil disobedience would alert the public to the injustice of indifferent government attitudes toward the disabled.

Demonstrators also called for the resignation of mayor Lee Myung-bak, saying that he is not behaving responsibly toward handicapped citizens of his city and that the only thing he is responsible for is complete and utter indifference to the severe limitations on the freedom and quality of life of the disabled whose life opportunities are severely diminished simply because of their physical disability.

Forty minutes after they locked down the tracks, protesters were physically removed by police after their chains were cut and the ladders removed from their necks while the protestors and were subsequently arrested along with fifty student supporters.

The association has been asking for safe and fair public transportation for the disabled since January 2001 when a disabled person died as a result of an unsafe wheelchair lift at oido Station that month. And since that time, there have been at least 6 accidents resulting from unsafe lifts at different stations around Seoul.

The association is demanding that all wheelchair lifts be replaced with elevators and that existing buses which are wheelchair inaccessible be replaced with low-floor buses which are designed to allow wheelchair bound passengers to board the bus easily and which are currently widely in use in the west.

The association's efforts to promote justice for the disabled has been met with heavy resistance from the government with protests being blocked and arrests being made of the disabled protestors.


By Kanarchist, Base21 Media Activist
kanarchy@jinbo.net


Related Videos:
1. Protest Visiting
Real Player

The association visited Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation and protested against the government failing to make public transit safe and accessible for disabled users.
Produced on May 24, 2002

2. Event for Riding Regular Buses
Real Player

The 14th event for riding regualr buses was held on May 22, 2002. In this event, Park Kyung-suk, a chief of the association was arrested by the police.
Produced on May 23, 2002

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