DC police breakup peaceful protest against unjust acquittals of U.S. soldiers who murdered two Korean girls
NEW YORKERS DEMAND RELEASE OF NODUTDOL MEMBER IMPRISONED BY WHITE HOUSE
December 7, 2002 - New Yorkers demand the release of Sukjong Hong, a member of Nodutdol for Korean Community Development, who was arrested and detained by Washington, DC Police after they broke up a peaceful demonstration at the White House. A group of New Yorkers will travel to Washington DC on Monday to support the release of Ms. Hong and hopefully bring her back home.
The protest at the White House was organized by an international delegation from Korea and the United States, including representatives from the "Pan Korean Alliance for Two Girls Killed by U.S. Armored Vehicle," Congress for Korean Reunification, Nodutdol, and the International Action Center. Protesters demanded an official apology from the Bush administration for the deaths of Shin Hyo Soon and Shim Min Sun (the two girls run over and killed by a U.S. armored vehicle earlier this year), a retrial of the acquitted murderers in Korean courts, and the revision of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) which has allowed U.S. soldiers to commit these hideous crimes with immunity on Korean soil.
As protesters stood before the gate carrying banners and boxes of petitions, Police on foot, bicycles and motorcycles encircled the protesters in increasing numbers. When Police asked protesters to clear a path on the sidewalk, protesters immediately complied. After a short while, Police became agitated and began to demand that protesters move farther and farther back on the sidewalk. Police pushed the protesters in front, first with their hands and then with billy clubs. When protesters firmly asserted their right to protest, Police became more violent. Several protesters were pushed to the ground and got caught under foot. Sukjong Hong, who became separated from the group, was surrounded by several Police Officers and handcuffed, arrested and detained. She is reported to have been hospitalized, but is said to be in good physical condition.
Nodutdol condemns this violent affront to Sukjong Hong and to the whole Korean people. We demand that the White House and the D.C. Police release Sukjong Hong immediately! The U.S. government must also acknowledge its responsibility for the deaths of Shin Hyo Soon and Shim Mi Sun and respect the right of the Korean people to self-determination! Revise SOFA!!!!!!
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