Demo in Seoul yesterday

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    • #498199
      soryang
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      • Total Posts: 2,551

      …calls on president Yoon Seok-yeol of South Korea to resign. I watched the last hour and half of the demonstration last night when the demonstrators moved from downtown Seoul near city hall down to Yongsan Gu, to surround Yoon’s presidential office building at the old Ministry of Defense Building. It was encouraging to see the huge crowd estimated at 350,000 or more. The demonstration represented a coalition of numerous groups dissatisfied with Yoon’s incompetent and vindictive administration, known for its persecution of political rivals, misogyny politics, anti-union tactics, economic mismanagement (austerity), provocative military moves and capitulation to the US and Japan, without anything to show for it. Peace activists were a significant element of the crowd.

      Triggering the sudden increase in the size of the regularly scheduled saturday “candlelight” demonstrations was the administration’s handling of the Halloween saturday night “crowd crush” disaster in Itaewon about a mile away from the presidential office at the end of October. This is similar in nature to the role of the Sewol ferry disaster in triggering huge popular resistance that brought down the Park Geun-hye administration over five years earlier.

      The New York Times had a front page article about the administration’s handling of the Itaewon disaster on Nov 17. The in depth article wasn’t too bad, giving a balanced presentation of events. One of the key observations was that earlier in the day Saturday Oct. 29, 4700 police were mustered for crowd control basically to protect the downtown area and the presidential office from a much smaller demonstration the Times described as in the “tens of thousands.”  ( I’ve been watching videos of  these demonstrations, and I’m thinking 25 to 30 thousand was the typical turnout, although I didn’t see video of this particular demonstration.)   Later in the day, there were only a dozen or so patrol officers to control a crowd estimated at 110,000 revelers in Itaewon, within a mile or so of the presidential office. Warnings of the projected risks were known and ignored for days, along with panicky police requests for assistance that night. This is a result of placing control of the National Police Agency under a Yoon sycophant at the Ministry of Interior and Public Safety endangering its independent judgement and political neutrality. This arbitrary change in the statutory administration of the National Police Agency was never approved by the National Assembly. Responsibility of other right wing politicians like Oh Se-hun (a likely presidential contender), the Mayor of Seoul, and local officials are discussed as well. The Yoon administration is trying to place the blame on police. There has been no in depth article similar to the NYT article published in major South Korean media, who invariably support Yoon and his clique of corrupt prosecutors. I guess it’s easier to criticize a foreign government for the Times, rather than one’s own.   This criticism  of Yoon, the darling of the US establishment, because of his hawkish views and pro-Japan stance, as deeply buried and mild as it is in the NYT article is the first I’ve seen in US media.   The Times theme appears to be spreading the blame around.   One simply can’t deny the historic significance of the event.

      惑世誣民 혹세무민

    • #498200
      soryang
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      • Total Posts: 2,551

      The goal of the organizers as I understand it, is to get a million people in the streets, next time, or in the future.

      惑世誣民 혹세무민

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