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, September 05, 2016

Free Gangjeong Mayor Cho!

Report from Gangjeong village on Jeju Island, South Korea where villagers have been non-violently resisting construction of a new Navy base that will port US warships as part of the US 'pivot' of 60% of Pentagon forces into the Asia-Pacific in preparation for war with China and Russia.

Mayor Cho Kyung-Cheol was arrested this afternoon for his refusal to get investigated for the alleged charges on the incident of April 28 when soldiers appeared in military uniform and vehicle, directing guns all-around as a part of military exercise and passing through the center of the village.

Mayor Cho was first carried into the Seogwipo Police station where he kept silence to the police inquiry while closing his eyes. He was then carried to the Dongbu police station in the Jeju City. It is expected that he could be there at least 48 hours unless he responds to the investigation.

To be very infuriatingly, the police handcuffed his hands and closed the investigation room door as if they are dealing with a heavy criminal, which is unusual.

Mayor Cho has said with a media reporter the other time that the state and police have been eager to accuse villagers with whatever measures and it would be never surprising if the police suddenly arrest him one day. 

Otherwise, since April 10, He has been staying in the sit-in tent demanding the navy/ government to drop unjust lawsuit against people. [The South Korean government is demanding $3 million for 'damages due to construction delays caused by the protests over the past eight years.]

What he did on April 28? He was just telling the soldiers not to threaten people in such way as there is also an elementary school nearby. Like other villages in Jeju, Gangjeong has a trauma of April 3rd incident [US directed massacre of more than 30,000 Jeju Islanders soon after WW II] and it is really threatening for people to watch soldiers and military vehicles in their town.

On July 20, a female villager, Kim Miryang was also arrested for the refusal of being investigated. She was released in 48 hours.

Free Cho Kyung Cheol!

Photo by Eunmi Pang


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