[RE][OPE] The beef in Seoul

From: 이채언 (conlee@chonnam.ac.kr)
Date: Wed Jun 11 2008 - 08:42:34 EDT

Dear Jurrian,


Thank you for your interest to the S. Korean case. The protest has been lasting for 40days.

Every evening, 10,000 - 100,000 citizens came out to the street to protest. But from this week, it swelled to the exceptional sizes. 100,000-700,000 citizens have been coming out from last Satursday.


Imagine, every morning people come out to the street. Some early go back home around 10 or 11 o'clock pm but younger generations keep on demonstrating until next morning. It usually ends at 9 o'clock am.

Some directly go to work or to school. They spend away sleepy daytimes but again appear in the evening on the street. This has continued for over a month! Nobody looks tired but rather enjoying. My generations are all tired but nobody wants it to be stopped. I myself could not attend everyday there because of my job but did attend from time to time, and got surprised to hear that a middle schoolboy (about 13 or 15 years of age) argues "If we retreat here, other much harder terrible things will be imposed upon us. Failure of the us imperialism will ask us to be sacrificed for themselves." I think something really serious will be break out soon. The adults rather anticipate something unimaginable would soon happen. No revolutionary party or group is here. But every person looks like a revolutionary. Almost unanimously they demand for a thorough change. They discuss on the social changes we have to make, the social and economic policies of the present government in small groupings. Other young generations (university students or young workers) on the other hand try hard to demolish police picket lines until 8 or 9 o'clock next morning. They themselves evacuate the street for the convenience of the commutators.

This candle meeting appear to last even after the resignation of the present president. A problem is that there is no responsible leader or leading group. But in some sense it is rather an advantage. The government has no idea with whom to negotiate or compromise. Most people are angry with the government and any peoples or groups that try a compromise are easily rejected from the parade.


From teenages upto older generations of 90 years of age. From housewives to disabled persons. University professors to kinder garten children, they all participate, and yet all are equal and free to talk. Popular film stars and popular singers eagerly want to make perfomances on the stage. 



Chai-On Lee

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