Anti-THAAD Protests Growing in South Korea
Catholic Priest Pat Cunningham reports from South Korea:
Heavy handed tactics were used by the police and the security state in Seongju yesterday, March 18 to remove Won Buddhist monks and their Peace/Prayer Tent situated at the entrance to the Lotte Golf Club, the proposed site of THAAD 'missile defense' (MD) battery, which is being vigorously and nonviolently resisted by the Won Buddhists (who have a sacred site and place of pilgrimage in the area) and other civil and religious groups from around the country.
March 18 was the first day of the Peacebus and afforded up to 5,000 people from around the country an opportunity to come together in solidarity with the local villagers in walking for peace and resisting THAAD.
Yesterday happened to be the 249th day of candle light vigils and the Columban's [Catholic order] were happy to join peace/labor/environmental/religious activists to be present and walk in solidarity with the local villagers during these very tense and dark days on the peninsula when the drumbeats of war and military buildup have seemingly taken on an inevitability with military exercises and recent visits from US Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State stating that the possibility of a military strike against North Korea could not be discounted.
This warmongering was countered by community leaders and their message of peace and dialogue built on a relationship of mutual trust that should be promoted by the next political administration.
The message was loud and clear - 'THAAD is not inevitable or unavoidable - it will not be deployed and all peace loving people should resist its installation with all their might'.
This spirit of nonviolent resistance was on display yesterday when the monks and their supporters/activists successfully resisted police attempts to demolish the tent and ensured that it was hastily re-erected in order for the peaceful resistance to continue.
There will be more candle light vigils and protests in Seoul and Seongju in the coming weeks and months. The Catholic community in Seongju will continue with weekly Wednesday mass and prayer vigils in the village of Seosongri.