Jeju is a small island off the coast of South Korea. It is known for its beautiful volcanic landscape and semi-tropical climate, abundant seafood and strong tradition of peace activism. The island is designated as a world peace island. But the Korean government wants to build a navy base on the island, which activists believe will primarily support U.S. military strategy. The village of Gangjeong has protested the construction of the base. However, this morning, police raided the activists’ protest camp.
Monday, January 18, 2010
EMERGENCY: The Police Raided the Gangjeong Village
Update: Current situation at 10: 30am (Korean time)
About 500 policemen were mobilized to the village Gangjeong at 5am this morning.
Not only 40 village people including the Mayor, Kang Dong Kyun, and Yang Hong Chan, Chairman of the Committee against the military base, but Go Yu Gi, Secretary of the Pan-Island Committee against the Military Base were captured by the police at 10:20am (Korean time).
Mr. Go Yu Gi is the person who first let me know the news and has had the press interview at 10am as he arrived in the village.
In the press interview at 10am, the village people and activists had announced the total struggle to prevent the South Korean navy’s plan to have the ceremony to starting to work on Feb. 5, 2010.
Many of you would probably know Bruce Gagnon’s international petition against the Jeju naval base construction and have heard about the Gangjeong village people’s struggle against the naval base.
I just got the message from a key activist in the Jeju organization.
He said the police raided the Gangjeong village early this morning in large number.
He got the news at 6:30am this morning in the Jeju city which is about an hour distance by car from the Gangjeong village. As soon as he heard the news from the people in Gangjeong, he is now heading to the village.
According to him, the police captured three people. The mayor is not heard to be among those. We don’t know yet whether people were wounded or not.
The village people and the Jeju organizations were supposed to have the press interview this morning, to announce the organized tent vigil, joined by the activist organizations.
The Gangjeong village people had set up the fence in their village, to prevent the crane cars contracted by the navy. The navy has planned to work on the ceremony of the starting to work on the naval base on Feb. 5 and the crane cars first entered the village on Jan. 6 but at the time the village people blocked it.
The Jeju organizations and village people have appealed the lawsuit against the Jeju special self-government and provincial assembly for improper and illegal processing and enforcing of the Jeju naval base. The case had the high probability of victory for people and the Navy should at least wait for the result.
The people in Gangjeong which is the most beautiful and pristine village in the Jeju island, but faces the horrible missile defense system in their loved village, need your strong support.
Please email to Bruce Gagnon for your sign against the Jeju naval base construction.
Please post in your website his petition.
We need all your strong solidarity messages as well.
I will send you the updated news again as I heard.
Thanks very much,
No Base Stories of Korea’