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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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Monday, February 17, 2014


Lee Seok-ki, center, greeted supporters last fall outside the South Korean National Assembly in Seoul

A South Korean court today sentenced a left-wing lawmaker to 12 years in prison and six colleagues to shorter terms for allegedly plotting a "pro-North Korea rebellion in the event of a war on the Korean Peninsula".

Prosecutors also asked judges to strip United Progressive Party (UPP) MP Lee Seok-ki of his civic rights for 10 years following his eventual release from prison. The UPP is a small party with only six seats in the National Assembly.

In South Korea it is illegal under the "National Security Law”, which was created by the occupying Japanese WW II imperial Army, to criticize US military bases in that country or to call for reunification between North and South Korea.

Lee Seok-ki has described himself as the victim of a “witch hunt” by South Korea’s spy agency, the National Intelligence Service (NIS). Many believe the NIS is using the show trial to distract the public from overwhelming evidence that the intelligence agency interfered in the last national election in favor of right-wing President Park Geun-hye's "successful" campaign.

President Park is the daughter of former brutal dictator Park Chung-hee. During Park’s iron-fisted rule from 1961 to 1979, dissidents were tortured and sometimes executed on charges of "plotting" against South Korea.  While on my previous trips to South Korea I met many older activists who spent as many as 20-25 years in prison for opposing the Park dictatorship.

Both the past and present Park regimes in Seoul were and are obvious US puppets.

 One blogger described Lee Seok-ki's alleged crime this way:

Lee Seok-ki also described North Korea as a strong nation and South Korea as an American colony. More specifically, he said the United States had controlled Korea by using its two-party political structure to affect a divide-and-rule strategy. He thought American imperialism was falling apart, though, and that as the weakest link in the American imperialist chain, the Korean Peninsula would be the central stage of the global revolution to throw off the American imperialist yoke.

How many activists around the world could be accused of the same so-called crime of naming the US as an imperialist occupying power?  How many activists around the world daily call for the US military bases in their country to be removed? Under the South Korean National Security Law I could be arrested for naming the US an imperial power.

Through the lens of the Jeju Island non-violent Navy base resistance we've seen how the right-wing government of South Korea does the bidding of the US corporate war machine.  The fascist response of the current puppet government in Seoul should make us all aware of the slippery slope we now tread on right here in the US. 


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