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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The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. @BruceKGagnon

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

South Korean goverment raids progressive union offices

 


Korea JoongAng Daily

 

NIS goes after union for alleged violations of Security Act


The spy agency and police raided the headquarters of a militant labor umbrella organization and three other locations Wednesday to investigate possible violations of the National Security Act.
 
According to the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and National Police Agency, the NIS obtained a search and seizure warrant from a court to investigate alleged violations of South Korea’s main anti-communist law by officials of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU).
 
Members of the KCTU tried to physically stop the raid of the group’s head office in Jung District, central Seoul by blocking the raiding party around 10 a.m.
 
Scuffles broke out between the investigators and KCTU members, who insisted that the organization’s lawyers should be present during the raid. Investigators entered the headquarters after about an hour.
 
The KCTU livestreamed the raid through its YouTube account.
 
The NIS and police also raided the headquarters of the KCTU-affiliated Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union in Yeongdeungpo District, western Seoul.
 
Outside Seoul, the NIS also raided a so-called “peace shelter” on Jeju Island dedicated to the Sewol passenger ferry, which capsized off the coast on Jindo, South Jeolla in April 2014 while en route to Jeju, killing 299 passengers.
 
The raid in Jeju was intended to seize documents connected to alleged violations of the National Security Act by a man who currently lives at the shelter.
 
The man, who was not identified by name, is also the director of the Jeju Sewol Memory Hall, which is located next to the shelter. Police said the man was previously active in the KCTU’s metalworkers’ union.
 
The shelter offers accommodation to dismissed workers involved in long-term legal battles with former employers, families of victims of manmade disasters, and those who previously suffered acts of state-sponsored violence.
 
The NIS also raided the home of a former KCTU official in South Jeolla after obtaining court approval.
 
The official was a former union organizer at a Kia Motors factory in the southwestern city of Gwangju and also a KCTU executive.
 
Passed in 1948, the National Security Act proscribes “any anticipated activities compromising the safety of the State” and “endangering the existence and security of the State or democratic fundamental order” — essentially banning behavior or speech that expresses support for the North Korean regime or communism or advocates the overthrow of the South Korean government.
 
The law was famously abused by authoritarian governments in the past, but attempts to repeal it have failed.
 
The law has been used in modern times to prosecute actual cases of sedition.
 
In 2013, the law was invoked by the NIS to arrest and convict Lee Seok-ki, a lawmaker from the minor liberal Unified Progressive Party, for plotting a rebellion in the event of war between the Koreas. 

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