LATEST FROM JEJU ISLAND
Sung-Hee Choi in jail and also hunger striking
Taking Sung-Hee Choi to prison was illegal. There is no basis in the law for arresting her in her act. The protest was being done in a peaceful way. She did not do anything to obstruct their work. She has been fasting from 19 May. Today it is the 7th day of her fast in prison.
Here are her 3 requests:
1. Cancellation of the annulment of the absolute preservation area by the Jeju Providential Governor’s authority [This means the Island government withdrew the preservation law for the Gangjeong village/sea coast in order allow Navy base to be built]
2. Asking the Ministry of National Defense to stop the construction of
the naval base on Jeju.
3. Protest her illegal imprisonment and isolation. Asking the commissioner of the Seogwipo Police Agency for an apology and lay-off of the chief of the Seogwipo Police Station.
People say that all that Sung-Hee did was hold a banner that said “Do not touch any stone or any flower” at the protest. One of activists working with her said Sung-Hee loves Mother Nature very much, so that is why she is against the naval base construction.
She will be moved to Jeju prison soon from the detention cell at the police station. This is the second time she has been taken to prison. She will be sentenced this time. Sung-Hee has been taking a very important role to spread what is going on in Gangjeong village on Jeju through her blog and international network. Hopefully she can be released soon and not be sentenced.
Meanwhile the movie critic, Prof. Yang, has still been fasting [now on his 50th day]. A lot of people are worried about the condition of his body. Many people have tried to persuade him to change his mind and stop fasting. But his will to stop the naval base construction seems very strong and clear.
- JungJoo Park
People have begun to contact me to say they will fast for a meal, a day, or more in solidarity with those now in jail and hunger striking on Jeju Island. Folks are also spreading the information about Jeju far and wide. Here are the solidarity fasters so far.
- Kathleen Russell (Spokane, Washington)
- Lotus Lee Fong (San Francisco, California)
- Mary Beth Sullivan (Bath, Maine)
- Makiko Sato (Japan)
- Boryana Tacconi (Andover, Massachusetts)
- Carla Rael (New Mexico)
- Leonard Eiger (Seattle, Washington)
- Sally Breen (Windham, Maine)
- Jill Gough (Wales)
- Marjorie Swann Edwin (California - 90 years old)
- Art Laffin (Washington DC)
- Bob Lezer (Freeport, Maine)
- Karen Wainberg (Bath, Maine)
Yesterday Karen Wainberg joined me in the cold rain in front of Bath Iron Works (BIW) for an hour as we held signs and handed out leaflets explaining the situation on Jeju Island. Five of the first six workers I saw took one but from then on it was more of a challenge. About 25 leaflets were taken as the hundreds streamed out of the shipyard. Karen had a long conversation with one young worker who said he was with us but asked what else could he do since he needs the job.
I will be back out at BIW today for another hour from 2:45-3:45 pm. Just had a call from Dennis Bernstein who wants to interview me tonight about Yang Yoon-Mo on his radio show at KPFA in Berkeley, California. That will be at 5:00 PST.