Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Monday, November 04, 2013


Sung-Hee Choi writes from Jeju Island:
Manseuk (nickname), a young female activist in her early 20s made this video for Kim Eun-Hye (23) who was directly arrested from the court on Oct. 8, this year, for the unverified charge of violence to a police woman last year. In the video, Manseuk narrates the letters between Eun-Hye and Jaein, her best friend and with whom she has lived in a container in the village for near two years.

Before the day of her arrest , Eun-Hye cried suffering from unfairness, saying, “Please trust me, I have never hit the policewoman.” As she was arrested the next day, Jaein cried putting the daily post on prisoners in front of the construction gate.

Eun-Hye also writes that she heard from her inmate friend later that an old man was doing a sit-in in front of the Jeju prison. She became to know later it was Catholic Fr. Mun Jeong-Hyeon

Another testimony about Eun-Hye is from Kristin Douglas who lives in Hawaii and spent alot of time in Gangjeong villager before being chased out of the country by the South Korean government.  She writes:

Forget Kim Eun-Hye? NEVER, ever! When I first visited Gangjeong in the summer of 2012, I stayed in an upstairs room in Sobu minbak which is on the main street of Gangjeong, just a few doors down from the Peace Center. The main street that runs through Gangjeong is a quiet street, especially during the evenings and night times. After long hot days of protesting the destruction that was being done to Gureombi to make way for a US/ROK naval base, activists were tired to the bone. But, as I would soon learn, exhaustion was not something that deterred the young activists from any aspect of the struggle. It was during the early evenings that, while upstairs in my room in the minbak, with windows wide open in the summer heat, that I often heard the voices of young activists while riding their bicycles up the hill on their way home for the night. On one hot evening in particular it occurred to me that the language I was hearing was English. WHAT???? I looked out the window onto the street below to see who was speaking in English. It was Eun-Hye. I listened more closely and realized that she was teaching the other young activists how to say various phrases in English. Phrases like "how are you today?" and "thank you for coming to Gangjeong". It was probably at that moment that I felt something in my heart that has forever changed my life. But this is not about me, it is about Eun-Hye, and the extraordinary young woman that she is. Over the course of knowing her for a little over eight months I watched her grow and become a serious and disciplined young activist. I watched her learn how to maintain strength in the face of exhausting police brutality. I watched her ask a police woman why she deliberately stepped on her prescription glasses. I watched while she wore cracked lenses for the rest of the summer and never complained. I watched while she and other young activists had their skin gouged by police, their limbs twisted and sometimes broken. I watched while their love for the vision of peace and a Korea without war grew in the face of such unwarranted brutality. I grew to love Eun-Hye and the other young activists with all my heart. I learned from them. We learned from each other. Kim Eun-Hye is one of the young activists that gives us all hope for the future. She should not be in jail for such a minor and arbitrary infraction as obstruction of business. Eight months? Seriously? Shame on the government! Please write to Eun-Hye. Don't worry about not being able to write in Korean... please, just write.


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