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News :: Organizing
South Korea, Migrant Workers Struggle Continues
Email: migrant (nospam) jinbo.net
26 Apr 2004
Migrant workers in the South Korean capital Seoul, threaten by the government's policy of forced mass deportation, are fighting back.
MSSC STRUGGLE REPORT (04-04-24/25)
Today is the 163rd day of migrant workers (mw) sit-in strike in South Korea (more about the history of our struggle you can read here, or just you check a searching machine like, for example google, for KCTU/ETU-MB/MSSC/migrant workers struggle in South Korea).
So yesterday in preparation of May 1, the International Struggle Day of the Working Class, we – around 900 activists, migrants and Koreans – fought again on the street against South Korean governments policy of man hunt and mass deportation. Even before yesterday (like the days before) we’re very active – anti-war demonstration, many Korean activists joined (just we want to stop government’s plan to send troops to Iraq), participating on Resistance Festival prepared by self-organized student groups here – yesterday’s rally and demonstration was a kind of highlight of our current struggle. Many of our last rallies and demonstrations were unsuccessful because government’s efforts to scare mw here brought our comrades to the point that they just wanted to hide and to wait what will come as the next. Our last demonstrations, like for example two weeks ago in Suwon, only few migrant workers supported our struggle.
But yesterday everything changed. First of all so many Koreans were joining our rally and demo. Beside them some Japanese comrades participated and between 400 and 500 migrant workers took the dangerous way to Seoul (everywhere immigration officers supported by the riot cops are trying to arrest especially mw activists) - mainly they came from industrial cities on the edge of Seoul.
In the beginning of the rally the whole thing was more looking like a nice All Together (a leftwing youth organization here) rally, supported by some migrant workers.
Around 3 pm Lee Soo-ho, the president of KCTU opened the rally with a speech, full supporting our demands. One of the main acts (before y’day they were playing on the anti-war rally, the Resistance Festival): Stop Crackdown Band. Meanwhile more and more migrant workers from the different regions around Seoul arrived. Another highlight: the performance of MSSC’s “Jeon Tae-il” “mime” team (revolutionary dances you can see here (pict. 3, 4, 6...). You were able to see how much especially Korean students like their performances. All together the atmosphere on the rally and the following demonstration, we marched, accompanied by a large units of riot cops (f… 1001, 1002, 1003… combat riot cop units/the first line/trained to kill only by using their shields), from Jongmyo Park to our struggle area Myeong-dong. Here, like usual, the cops blocked the way and we answered with a sit-in blockade. Finally the cops opened the way and we could enter our struggle place.
Meanwhile in the back of the cops a small party took place until the cops disappeared.
After all just a great event and when we are able - we will do our best, you can believe - to continue like this, finally one fine day we will succeed!
Here some impressions from the last days by pictures.
Before yesterday's anti-war demonstration
Resistance Festival in front of Yonsei University, also before yesterday
Yesterday's migrant workers rally and demonstration
The third time in 24 hours: Stop Crackdown Band
Park Kyeong-seok's (representative of disabled activists) speech
In the first line: Kim Hae-kyeong (KDLP vice president), Lee Soo-ho (KCTU president) and Anwar (acting "chief" of ETU-MB)
Friends and comrades: Nepalese and Korean
Exactly the reason why the weekend was so great
Mahbub with Ossama's daughter
Marching from Jongmyo Park...
... to Myeong-dong
There blocked by...
... the infamous riot cops
We answered with sit-in...
Party in the back of the cops until they disappeared
Finally we'd the masses on our struggle place
A last song: the International
FIGHT FOR RELEASE GUPTA, K.B., HAQ
AND ALL OTHER MIGRANT WORKERS FROM DETENTION CENTERS!
FREEDOM FOR ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS IN S. KOREA!
LET’S FIGHT TOGETHER FOR A WORLD
WITHOUT EXPLOITATION AND OPPRESSION!
ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE, ONLY
IF YOU WANT AND FIGHT FOR IT!
This work is in the public domain