May. 29  2023
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Christian's Photo Column 

New suicide, police terror and arresting in Seoul, South Korea

"Stop discrimination against irregular workers!"

Source  :  BASE21

[Photo by Lee Jeongwon, Workers and World]

by Christian / Base21 Media Activists

Sunday afternoon, October 26, Lee Yong-seok, 32 years old, set himself on fire in Seoul뭩 downtown Jongmyo Park. In the night to Monday he died in the result of his serious injuring. This was the fourth suicide, or attempt for suicide, in the last 3 month.

First of all, around noon ETU뻄B (Equality Trade Union Migrants Branch) started a rally there for to protest South Korean government뭩 migrant policy. One hour later many Korean 밿rregular workers started to join the rally. It was the first time in South Koreans history, that migrant workers and Koreans together created a protest.

During the opening rally Samar Thapa, leading activist in ETU-MB (Equality Trade Union Migrants Branch) several times demanded coordinated activities by Korean and migrant workers to struggle for their legitimate rights. On the rally, organized by ETU-MB, KCTU (Korean Confederation of Trade Unions) and KFTU (Korean Federation of Trade Unions) around 3500 workers, under them, according to ETU-MB, more than 1000 migrant workers, demanded full labor rights and the stop of any oppression against trade union뭩 activities.

On the end of the rally Lee Yong-seok, President of the Kwangju Branch of Korea Labor Welfare Corporation Irregular Workers Union sprayed an inflammable liquid onto himself and lit a flame in self-immolation while shouting, "Stop discrimination against irregular workers!"

After the rally a demonstration took place, but after only 100 meters was blocked by massive units of riot police. Two hours later, at around 7 pm - after fierce fights between demonstrators and the cops - with massive brutality, the demonstration were finished by the riot police. Many demonstrators suffered, partly, serious injuries. At least three people, members and supporters of ETU-MB, were arrested. Muhammad Biduth, last year he already was for three month in Hwaseong detention center, Jeong Eun-seo from Ansan and a Bangladeshi migrant worker, the name until now is unknown, got arrested with massive violence used by the cops. The migrant workers are facing deportation.
During the night, near the hospital, where Lee Yong-seok got the medical treatment and later died, again heavy clashes between demonstrators and massive units of riot police took place.

ETU-MB, now, is demanding the immediate releasing of the arrested members and supporters.

[Photo by Kim Chul Soo, Voice of People (]

[Photo by Kim Chul Soo, Voice of People (]
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BASE21 News Desk

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