May. 29  2023
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Christian's Photo Column 

Five weeks struggle against manhunt and deportation

諛냫ring the time the imperialist powers want to rule the whole world, we cannot demand only our own cases

Source  :  BASE21

by Christian / Base21 Media Activists

While the second period of crack-down is over the South Korean government announced that they will arrest 밿llegal migrant workers ten days each month until next summer the occupation, now in the 6th week, of Myeongdong Cathedral뭩 compound in the center of South Korean capital Seoul is continuing. The struggle collective, now 100 migrant workers and some Korean supporters, is still protesting against the government뭩 policy of manhunt and deportation led on Sunday, Dec 21, again resulting in a Chinese migrant worker committing suicide. The demands are the same as before: immediate end of crackdown, legalization of all migrant workers and the release of all imprisoned migrant workers.

During the last week the Myeongdong Sit-in Struggle Collective (MSSC) organized several protest events and joined different demonstrations and rallies. On Dec 18, International Migrants Day, in the morning a massive and very noisy protest in front of Seoul뭩 Central Immigration Office in Mokdong district was held. More than one hundred demonstrators made the accusation that the activities of the staff inside the building leads to the result of many migrants being scared and even some of them see only one solution: committing suicide. And by repeated shouting in the direction of the office they let them feel all their rage.

In the afternoon a rally, organized by six different migrant workers sit-in struggle teams, at Millenium Plaza (Jongno/Samsung Tower), downtown Seoul, were held, followed by a short demonstration to nearby Tapgol Park. Soon after the beginning of the march, the riot cops tried to attack the demonstrators, but with the support of Korean comrades they were able to defend themselves and no migrant got arrested. A while later, at the entrance to Insadong-gil (street), the cops tried to block and attack a large group of Chinese migrants the cops had no problems to beating up elderly persons. But also here the resistance had an effect and the cops had to withdraw. Migrant activists could prevent some arrests, respectively freed some comrades already taken by the cops. Two Korean comrades were arrested, but were released the following day. The event was finished by a powerful rally in front of Tapgol Park.

In the night a candlelight rally was held on Myeongdong Cathedral뭩 compound. Later they finished the day with a demonstration, with more than 120 people participating, through Myeongdong뭩 shopping district. And because they didn뭪 ask the 밶uthorities for permission their march was illegal. But especially on a day like that it makes some sense: an illegal demonstration performed by 밿llegal people. And very funny, just when they came back to the struggle area, 밢ur Solidarity Team (what one Bangladeshi activist calls the riot cops), arrived. But they were clearly too late!

Last Saturday South Korean 밃nti-Pabyeong (anti troop dispatch) group, together with other progressive organizations, held a mass rally against the ongoing occupation in Iraq and the government뭩 plans to join the occupation forces with at least an additional 3000 troops, including combat units. MSSC joined the protest. After the official beginning of the rally, the Korean participants joined the struggle of migrant workers and more than 1000 voices shouted 밃chieve Work Visa! and 밪top Crackdown!

Later migrant workers participated in some discussions with Korean activists where they promised their support for the anti-war movement in South Korea. 밆uring the time the imperialist powers want to rule the whole world, we cannot demand only our own cases the struggle for peace, justice and a world without exploitation and oppression is our common issue independent of our nationality, so a migrant activist said.

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BASE21 News Desk

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