Mar. 20  2018
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Christian's Photo Column 

March 25: A Great Day of Victory for the S. Korean Anti-War Movement

The National assembly was expected to endorse a bill yesterday afternoon approving the dispatch of S. Korean (non-combat) troops to support the U.S.-led aggression against Iraq.

Source  :  BASE21

by Christian / Base21 Media Activists

The National assembly was expected to endorse a bill yesterday afternoon approving the dispatch of S. Korean (non-combat) troops to support the U.S.-led aggression against Iraq.

But they didn't. The massive protests in the last days forced them to put on hold the plan.

Anti-war protests and against the plan of the gov't to send troops to Iraq here have been sporadic yet continous since the war started Thursday. Monday and yesterday, they broadened.

Civic groups, left political organisations like Democratic Labour Party and her youth organisation Da-hamkke (All Together), students, novelists, unionists and many other parts of the S. Korean society turned out on Monday for massive anti-war demonstrations to protests government's plan to send troops.

After Saturday's large anti-war rally downtown Seoul, more then 10.000 people participated, Monday morning a massive 48-hours protest marathon near and around National Assambly on Yeouido started.

The protest started in the early morning as members of different civic groups attempted to block House Speaker from entering his office. A alliance of activist groups, led by KCTU, camed at the Nat'l Assembly building from Monday morning to form a human chain blocking legislators entering the building.

Venice Film Festival awardwinnering actress Moon So-ri and popular singers Lee Sung-hwan and Lee Sang-eun jointly held a press conference near the National Assembly to denounce the bill.

Yoon Do-hyun, one of the most popular rockstars here, joined a anti-war demonstration in front of the main entrence of the National Assembly.

Members of Iraq Peace Team of Korea also staged a surprise rally over the Grand Han Bridge, holding banners saying, "No bloody war - We oppose troop dispatch."

Yesterday 26 members of Pan-National Committeeclimbed over the wall and headed for the National Assembly building, shouting slogans against the plan to dispatch troops in Iraq. They were arrested by riot police and taken to prison.

Anti-war protest has spread to include even hard-core supporters who helped Roh Moo-hyun to win elections last year. Nasamo - a Korean acronym for "People Who Love Roh" - demanded the withdrawal of Korea's support for the U.S.-led war against Iraq.

Protesters promissed in the next election they will pay the bill for the "S. Korean war criminals".

S. Korean left-liberal daily Hankyoreh wrote March 24: "National Assembly nust respect anto-war opinion ...the National assembly must faithfully reflect such a public opinion. A recent poll said 81 percent of Koreans oppose the Iraqi war."

Now while the National Assembly decided the next discussion about the bill to delay untill april 2 the S. Korean anti-war activists promissed to do all what is possible to mobilize the public to increase the pressure on the Parliament. Next Saturday the next large demonstration against the U.S. aggression in Iraq and the goverment's plans to sent troops is expected to take place in Seoul.

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BASE21 News Desk

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