Jul. 19  2024
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Christian's Photo Column 

Even they'll threat us with police - migrants in South Korea never will give up!

諛칎 are one community, we learned to live together and to share our happiness, our sufferings. It is like the government want to expel my sisters and brothers out of the country!?

Source  :  BASE21

by Christian / Base21 Media Activists

On Saturday, Dec 13, before the anti-war rally, the sit-in struggle team of the Anglican Church (A.C.) and Myeongdong Sit-in Struggle Team (MYSIST) (ETU-MB, Nepalese Struggle Alliance, Korean Human Rights Center/Incheon and KASAMMAKO), all together around 200 migrants, held a protest rally in Daehak-no to underline their demands for legalization of all the migrant workers here, an end of manhunt and deportation and releasing of all migrant workers out of detention centers. Beside of Direct Action group they got support by several members of Democratic Labor Party뭩 youth organization 밃ll Together?

After their rally they joined the central anti-war rally ?but just several hundreds of Korean activists participated - on same place. Samar Thapa, chief of ETU-MB뭩 Emergency Struggle Committee, got the possibility to held a solidarity speech. Beside the specific issue of migrant workers in S. Korea, he also denounced imperialist wars in general, but as an example the role of US Imperialism in the ongoing 뱖ar against terror?in his own home country Nepal and of course in the Middle East.

After the rally they joined the short demonstration from Daehak-no to Tapgol Park, downtown Seoul. There the demonstrators had to see that the cops expected something else as this small peaceful demonstration. Between there and Sejong-no ?a small area in the center of Seoul - thousands of riot cops were hanging around and even water canons they had on the spot.

Later in the evening Myeongdong Sit-in Struggle Team went to the Anglican Church, near City Hall, were three sit-in struggle teams ?Mansan, A.C. and MYSIST ?organized a Struggle Cultural Festival. MYSIST뭩 뱈ime?team performed their expression dances, one of their Nepalese comrades a folk dance, their band several struggle songs and last but not least Mahabu, a Bangladeshi, presented his version of the Philippine song 밢ur Union? Very impressive were the performances of the Indonesian rock band and the Nepalese group, filled the audience ?on the highlight of the event more than 300 people ?with enthusiasm. The Indonesians had their own version of 밯e Will Rock You?by Queen: 밯e Want Working Visa!?and the Nepalese performed a mix of early Garage Punk sound and rock version of Arirang. Especially Arirang created an atmosphere of enthusiasm, a little comparable with the atmosphere of last year뭩 anti-USFK demonstrations on Gwanghwamun. All in all a really great event ?just pity that only some Koreans joined.

On Sunday migrants here had again a more serious event: a protest rally and demonstration in Ansan, an industrial town on the outskirts of Seoul, organized by Ansan Sit-in Struggle team and MYSIST. Some of the migrants worried and expected fights with the cops and when they arrived they뭗 to see, that their fan club, the 밪pecial Solidarity Team?in full crew-power were present: hundreds of riot cops were hanging around Ansan Station, the place of the planned rally. And their aim, to threat potential participants from Ansan, was partly successful. While on the rally sometimes between 300 and 500 people joined the event, later on the following demonstration through Ansan뭩 밠igrant-Town? only around 150 people dared to participate. 밄ut anyway? Samar Thapa said, 뱖e think it was successful for us, because we got a lot attention and sympathy from Ansan뭩 citizens and by-passing migrants.?As the 뱔ndisputed highlight?of the rally, as a very special Korean form of protest, Samar and his comrade Anwar got shaved their heads.

Very impressive was a spontaneous speech by Korean street vendors, denouncing government뭩 policy of manhunt and deportation. Some shop owners gave several presents, like health drinks, for the demonstrators and especially by-passing migrants were eager for leaflets. On places, during the demonstration, were they held speeches to explain their case, regularly crowds of pedestrians were listen to them and even they got several times applause from the audience, migrant workers, but also from many Koreans. One Korean teenager: 밯e are one community, we learned to live together and to share our happiness, our sufferings. It is like the government want to expel my sisters and brothers out of the country!?

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