Roars of twenty thousands rocked Gwanghwamun, “MB OUT, Void Ratification”

Disclaimer: The following is a totally unauthoritative personal translation of a news article appeared in an online media <Voice of People> on November 26, 2011, reporting the anti-KOR-US FTA rally held in Gwanghwamun, Seoul, South Korea. All rights regarding this post stay with the author of original article or <Voice of People> and this post will be scrapped immediately at their request accordingly. Original article of this post (in Korean) can be found in the link at the bottom.

Roars of twenty thousands rocked Gwanghwamun, “MB OUT, Void Ratification”

“Let’s get together again in 28th. We can stop President Lee Myung-bak from signing the ratification bill!”

Reporters Jeong Hye-gyu 정혜규, Jo Han-il 조한일, Choi Ji-hyun 최지현

국민을 믿습니다

Rep. Kim Sun-dong, Democratic Labor Party (DLP), is making a speech on stage in the candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA at Seoul Gwanghwamun square in 26th evening. ⓒ Yang Ji-woong 양지웅

이명박 보고있나?
Participants of the candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA at Seoul Gwanghwamun square in 26th evening are shouting slogans. ⓒ Yang Ji-woong 양지웅

People’s anger demanding the denunciation of KOR-US FTA finally exploded. Roars of twenty thousand citizens, breaking through the police barricades that even sabotaged the political party speech rally, echoing ‘MB OUT, Void Ratification’ swelled up the whole Gwanghwamun square.

Police who tried to block the spreading of public sentiment by locking off the Gwanghwamun square from the 26th afternoon where the joint political party speech rally by 5 opposition parties and the candlelight rally were scheduled failed to seal citizens’ fired-up angers.

Police mobilized 100 companies 6000 forces to lock off the Gwanhwamun square. Although it was a political party speech rally which does not need any notification beforehand, police limited citizens’ access by trying to allow the access of representatives and their aides only.

Notwithstanding, citizens gathered on the stairway of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts (Sejong Center) one by one starting around 5PM, which amassed to about 2000 around 6PM. During this course, representatives from the democratic party (DP) tussled with the police who were blocking citizens’ access to secure the passage.

During the political party speech rally that started around 6:45PM, opposition party members including Sohn Hak-gyu, the leader of DP, and Lee Jeong-hee, the leader of Democratic Labor Party (DLP), pledged to ‘wreck the KOR-US FTA by all means’ one after another.

Rep. Sohn Hak-gyu emphasized “They think we will hesitate if they seal the whole square with police buses. But they all got it wrong. We will unite together and block KOR-US FTA at all means.” However, some of his remarks were buried by citizen’s heckles such as “resign your post” or “Let’s fight with us against water cannons”.

Lee Jeong-hee, the leader of DLP, who was handed over the microphone in citizens’ warm cheers, mentioning impending President Lee Myung-bak’s signing of KOR-US FTA bill on 29th, warned “President Lee Myung-bak, don’t sign the agreement bill. Or, all that’s left to you is just resignation.”

After wrapping up the political party speech rally, citizens started to proceed to Gwanghwamun squre around 7:40PM. Citizens soon broke through the police barricades and rushed to the Gwanghwamun 4-way junction. Citizens who had been waiting near Sejong Center due to the limited space joined the march right away and Gwanghwamun 4-way junction was soon filled with about twenty thousand citizens shouting ‘MT OUT, Void Ratification’.

During about an hour lapse until the arrival of a broadcasting vehicle, a center stage vehicle for the candlelight rally in Gwanghwamun square, citizens kept on shouting ‘MG OUT! Void Ratification’ slogan and warned that President Lee Myung-bak would face far fiercer resistance from people if he signed the ratification bill on 29th.

Citizens who gathered at the KOR-US FTA denunciation candlelight rally around 9:30PM expressed mixed feelings of ‘anger’ towards President Lee Myung-bak and the Grand National Party (GNP) as well as ‘exultation’ of being able to hold a candlelight rally in Gwanghwamun 4-way junction after 3 years since the candlelight rally on mad cow disease issue of imported beefs from US.

DP supreme member Jeong Dong-young, aiming at President Lee Myung-bak, said “I hope he listens carefully to the ‘Void Ratification! MB OUT!’ shouts of twenty thousand citizens gathered at Gwanghwamun 4-way junction here. What we reaffirmed today is that we can stop KOR-US FTA.”

DLP Rep. Kim Sun-dong who was handed over the microphone in citizens’ exuberant cheers expressed strong will to fight “Now is not the right time to say things like ‘we will block KOR-US FTA when we win the general or presidential election next year’. Rather, we should force President Lee Myung-bak not to sign the ratification bill on 29th.”

지현이를 살려내
A student of Hanshin University is honoring Kwon Ji-hyun who was killed in a car accident on her way to join the rally to block KOR-US FTA in 25th afternoon at the candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA in front of Seoul Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in 26th evening. ⓒ Yang Ji-woong 양지웅

Since it’s weekend, we could easily spot family-based participants in today’s candlelight rally.

Office worker Mr. Cha (35) who came with his wife and two children said “In fact, it is hard for all of our family to move together due to my children but we came down here from home since I felt like I should. I thought I should show the reality of shoddy passage by GNP which rolled our democracy back for at least 10 years.”

Ms. Kim (39) who held her yet less-than-one-year-old baby in her chest said “I felt like blowing up the whole National Assembly myself at the sight of shoddy passage by GNP. I felt good riddance to Rep. Kim Sun-dong’s deed (of blowing up the tear gas canister).”

Students who visited Gwanghwamun today as a weekend day break also stayed until late at night.

One freshwoman high school girl said “My grandfather and grandmother are farmers. They are still troubled by debts now but KOR-US FTA will make them troubled much more. That’s why I came here.”

This student pointed that “GNP’s shoddy passage made me think of a question if that was the democracy I had learned in my politics class. To foreigners’ eyes, ‘shoddy passage’ will make legal in Korea”

The candlelight rally, continued until around 10PM, ended peacefully and citizens dispersed voluntarily. Some citizens marched about 30 minutes more in Jong-ro.

Meanwhile, scuffles broke out while citizens were trying to march from Sejong Center to Gwanghwamun 4-way junction with police who were trying to stop the march and 16 citizens were taken away by police. In due course, it is reported that police took a senior middle school student to police station and let him go.

이순신동상 앞까지 온 집회 대오
In 26th evening, 5th day since the shoddy passage of KOR-US FTA consent bill, citizens who marched after holding a political party speech rally and candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA in front of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts are holding their grounds against police force in front of the Statue of Admiral Lee Sun-shin in Gwanghwamun square. ⓒ Kim Cheol-soo 김철수

광화문 광장을 가득 메운 한미fta 무효 집회 참가자들
In 26th evening, 5th day since the shoddy passage of KOR-US FTA consent bill, citizens who marched after holding a political party speech rally and candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA in front of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts are holding their grounds against police force in front of the statue of admiral Lee Sun-shin in Gwanghwamun square. ⓒ Kim Cheol-soo 김철수

광화문 도로로 나온 시민들
In 26th evening, 5th day since the shoddy passage of KOR-US FTA consent bill, citizens are breaking through the police barricades and progressing to the statue of admiral Lee Sun-shin in Gwanghwamun square after holding a political party speech rally and candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA in front of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts. ⓒ Kim Cheol-soo 김철수

행진하는 시민들과 막는 경찰
In 26th evening, 5th day since the shoddy passage of KOR-US FTA consent bill, citizens are marching to the statue of admiral Lee Sun-shin in Gwanghwamun square after holding a political party speech rally and candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA in front of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts. ⓒ Kim Cheol-soo 김철수

경찰 저지를 뚫고 나아가는 시민들
In 26th evening, 5th day since the shoddy passage of KOR-US FTA consent bill, citizens are breaking through police barricades and progressing to the statue of admiral Lee Sun-shin in Gwanghwamun square after holding a political party speech rally and candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA in front of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts. ⓒ Kim Cheol-soo 김철수

경찰의 저지를 뚫고 나아가는 시민들
In 26th evening, 5th day since the shoddy passage of KOR-US FTA consent bill, citizens are breaking through police barricades that are trying to stop people’s march after the political party speech rally and candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA in front of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts. ⓒ Kim Cheol-soo 김철수

행진하는 시민들
In 26th evening, 5th day since the shoddy passage of KOR-US FTA consent bill, citizens who marched after the political party speech rally and candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA in front of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts are dashing to the statue of admiral Lee Sun-shin in Gwanghwamun square. ⓒ Kim Cheol-soo 김철수

몸 싸움하는 이정희와 정동영
In 26th evening, Rep. Lee Jeong-hee, the leader of DLP, Rep. Jeong Dong-young of democratic party (DP), and other citizens who participated in a candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA clash against police force in front of Donghwa duty-free shop in Gwanghwamun, Seoul. ⓒ Yang Ji-woong 양지웅

시민 여러분 이쪽 입니다
In 26th evening, Rep. Lee Jeong-hee, the leader of DLP, and other citizens who participated in a candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA clash against police force in front of Donghwa duty-free shop in Gwanghwamun, Seoul. ⓒ Yang Ji-woong 양지웅

선두에 선 이정희 대표
In 26th evening, 5th day since the shoddy passage of KOR-US FTA consent bill, Rep. Lee Jeong-hee, the leader of DLP, who lost one of her shoes while marching after the political party speech rally and candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA in front of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts stands in face to face with police. ⓒ Kim Cheol-soo 김철수

경찰은 막지마라
Paik Ki-wan, the head of unification institute, Kim Young-hoon, the leader of Korea Confederation of Trade Unions, Lee Jeong-hee, the leader of DLP, Jeong Dong-young, supreme member of DP, Kim Sun-dong, a LDP Rep., (from left to right) are shouting slogans in front of a police barricade wall in 26th evening at Seoul Gwanghwamun square. ⓒ Yang Ji-woong 양지웅

신발을 잃어버리고 구호를 외치는 이정희 대표
In 26th evening, 5th day since the shoddy passage of KOR-US FTA consent bill, citizens who marched after the political party speech rally and candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA in front of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts are holding their grounds against police in front of the statue of admiral Lee Sun-shin in Gwanghwamun square and Rep. Lee Jeong-hee, the leader of DLP, is shouting slogans with one of her shoes missing during a confrontation against police. ⓒ Kim Cheol-soo 김철수

신발을 잃고도 자리를 지키는 이정희 대표의 발
In 26th evening, 5th day since the shoddy passage of KOR-US FTA consent bill, Rep. Lee Jeong-hee, the leader of DLP, who lost one of her shoes while marching after the political party speech rally and candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA in front of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts stands in front of the statue of admiral Lee Sun-shin in Gwanghwamun square. ⓒ Kim Cheol-soo 김철수

광장에 모인 야6당
Sohn Hak-gyu, the leader of DP (in green), Lee Jeong-hee, the leader of DLP (in pink), and other leaders of opposition parties are making speeches at a candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA in 26th evening on the stairway of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts. ⓒ Yang Ji-woong 양지웅

날치기하세요 소매치기세요
In 26th evening, 5th day since the shoddy passage of KOR-US FTA consent bill, a political party speech rally and candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA which was scheduled to be held in Gwanghwamun square is going on in front of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts with huge number of citizens turning up despite police’s preemptive efforts to occupy the Gwanghwamun square altogether beforehand. ⓒ Kim Cheol-soo 김철수

매국노 한나라당 해체하자!
In 26th evening, 5th day since the shoddy passage of KOR-US FTA consent bill, a political party speech rally and candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA which was scheduled to be held in Gwanghwamun square is going on in front of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts with huge number of citizens turning up despite police’s preemptive efforts to occupy the Gwanghwamun square altogether beforehand. ⓒ Kim Cheol-soo 김철수

매국노 한나라당 해체하자!
In 26th evening, 5th day since the shoddy passage of KOR-US FTA consent bill, a political party speech rally and candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA which was scheduled to be held in Gwanghwamun square is going on in front of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts with huge number of citizens turning up despite police’s preemptive efforts to occupy the Gwanghwamun square altogether beforehand. ⓒ Kim Cheol-soo 김철수

촛불로 FTA 저지하자Participants of a candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA at the stairway of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in 26th evening are shouting slogans. ⓒ Yang Ji-woong 양지웅

경찰과 몸싸움하는 시민들
Participants of a candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA at the stairway of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in 26th evening are squeezed in a clash against police. ⓒ Voice of People 민중의소리

미대사관 맞은편 세종문화회관 앞을 가득메운 시민들
In 26th evening, 5th day since the shoddy passage of KOR-US FTA consent bill, a political party speech rally and candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA which was scheduled to be held in Gwanghwamun square is going on in front of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts with huge number of citizens turning up despite police’s preemptive efforts to occupy the Gwanghwamun square altogether beforehand. ⓒ Kim Cheol-soo 김철수

A female college student was killed in a car accident on her way to anti-KOR-US FTA candlelight rally

A female student of Hanshin University was tragically killed in a car accident on her way to a candlelight rally to denounce KOR-US FTA.

According to Hanshin University officials, sophomore student Ms. Kwon (20) in theology department was killed in a car accident at around 7PM on 25th on her way to KOR-US FTA denunciation candlelight rally at Seoul square. Ms. Kwon, with four other friends, were in a car driven by one of her friends father when it was overturned near Pangyo Interchange.

It is known that, at the time of accident, the car Ms. Kwon was riding was running at a speed of about 60km/h but stopped abruptly while trying to change lanes due to another car running into the same lane at which moment the car following it bumped it from behind and made it flip over.

Ms. Kwon who was sitting in the back seat at the moment of accident is known to hit hard on her head during the flip over. Just after the accident, the driver, father of a friend, performed CPR to Ms. Kwon but she is known to die on the spot.

세종문화회관 앞에서 정치연설회
In 26th evening, 5th day since the shoddy passage of KOR-US FTA consent bill, a political party speech rally is going on in front of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts while police are locking off the Gwanghwamun square (black area behind the bright statue of admiral Lee Sun-shin in the bottom right) altogether preemptively. ⓒ Kim Cheol-soo 김철수

경찰의 봉쇄를 뚫고 나아가는 시민들
In 26th evening, 5th day since the shoddy passage of KOR-US FTA consent bill, a political party speech rally and candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA which was scheduled to be held in Gwanghwamun square is going on in front of Sejong Center for the Performing Arts and many citizens are breaking through police barricades to join the rally. ⓒ Kim Cheol-soo 김철수

광화문 차지한 경찰들
Police are occupying the Seoul Gwanghwamun square in 26th afternoon. A candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA is to scheduled be held in the evening at this place. ⓒ Yang Ji-woong 양지웅

불법 집회 때문에 봉쇄합니다
Police are occupying the Seoul Gwanghwamun square in 26th afternoon where a candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA is to scheduled be held in the evening. ⓒ Yang Ji-woong 양지웅

경찰이 차지한 광화문 광장
Police are occupying the Seoul Gwanghwamun square in 26th afternoon where a candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA is to scheduled be held in the evening. ⓒ Yang Ji-woong 양지웅

경찰 때문에 불편해
Police are occupying the Seoul Gwanghwamun square in 26th afternoon where a candlelight rally to block KOR-US FTA is to scheduled be held in the evening. ⓒ Yang Ji-woong 양지웅

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