Coalition Party in Gangjeong Village
|The Sky team greeted after arriving at the Jeju airport|
|Opening ceremony in village center before dinner and dancing|
|One of the many songs and dancing during the wonderful party|
Yesterday more than 100 people from mainland Korea arrived on Jeju Island. They are part of the Sky team which is a coalition of movements throughout South Korea - striking auto workers, Sewol ferry tragedy families, campaigns to oppose massive nuclear power plant powerline towers in several villages, campaign to protect neighborhoods in Seoul from redevelopment demolition, and the Gangjeong Navy base struggle. They have been working for a couple of years to support one another and last night was the first big joint bash.
When the Sky team arrived in the Jeju airport they were met by many Gangjeong villagers and supporters. Then the visitors were taken to the April 3 massacre museum and to the ocean. At 6:00 pm folks gathered in the village center for opening ceremonies that included the presentation of many organic farm products from one of the visiting village struggles to the people of Gangjeong. A delicious supper was next followed by two hours of singing and dancing.
I was pulled up several times to dance and fellow Mainer Brando got up and sang 'My Way' which got a big cheer. My favorite was a slight 82-year old woman dressed in a blue shirt who danced several times and even sang one song. At one point she came up to me and thanked me - I'm not sure for what - but I was deeply touched by her kind gesture.
At the start the moderator told the assembled that tonight we are going to forget our problems and have fun. That they did and for their American guests it was a night to remember. Brando told me afterwards how glad he is to be here in the village. I could only agree. I love the Korean people - they know how to have lots of fun alongside their tough fighting for peace and justice.