Surround Gangjeong Village with Culture
Fellow Mainer Jason Rawn reports from Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea where the resistance campaign against the new Navy base is preparing for the officially opening of the installation. Villagers and supporters are working to surround the village with culture in order to protect themselves from the near tripling of the local population by naval personnel and their war making mission.
|Iconic Catholic priest Fr. Mun helped carve the totems. He is planning to come to New York City in mid-March for several days of speaking events.|
Activists are erecting traditional Korean totem poles (jang seung) in Gangjeong village, Jeju Island. Three were put up today in preparation for the official opening ceremony of a US (nominally Korean) war base here tomorrow. Traditionally these jang seung have been used all over Korea to ward off evil spirits and prevent them from entering through village gates. One totem has the message "Gureombi is crying now", and was placed in the village's war memorial, located almost directly across the street from the main gate of the new war base, which is expected to host US Aegis destroyers, submarines, and other war machinery that's part of the US military's "Asia Pivot". The jang seung was designed by longtime activist [Catholic] priest Fr. Mun and three traditional artists. Many local people assisted with the project. Although there was no problem with police, who did their job of keeping people safe by directing traffic, the five foreigners present were asked to take photos and video, just in case. Many Koreans also filmed the events.