First of all (unfortunately once again) some very terrible news: The police chief 'responsible' for Gangjeong, banned y'day virtually all demonstrations in and around the village. In ‘A notice on the prohibition of outdoor rally, demonstration and march,’ to the village, the Seogwipo Police Station announced that they would prohibit ‘all’ campaigns against naval base that would be held in the 6 places of sports park near the Gangjeong stream, parking lot, main gate of the naval base business committee building complex, main gate of the naval base construction area, Joongdeok three-way intersection, and Gangjeong port, from now until May 12.
While this announcement is (possibly?) complete anti-constitutional, it's also a kind of virtually "declaration of war" against the residents of Gangjeong and their supporters. And this "declaration of war" requires - IMO - an appropriate answer: mass struggle, GENERAL STRIKE!!
Here a datailed report(source: No Naval Base on Jeju/facebook) about yesterday's development on the 'frontline' in and around Gangjeong :
On the 2nd annual GDAMS day, hard struggle was continued in the village/ Two peace activists and a reverend were arrested while Catholic Fathers not/ The Seogwipo Police Station noticed the village disallowance on the rally until May 12… an implication of another hard period for struggle/ Fr. Mun Jeong-Hyeon was chosen as the Gwangju Peace awardee/ 90 teenagers from a grass root school are visiting the village
On April 17, about 30 organizations in Seoul and Jeju demanded cut of military spending and halt of the Jeju naval base project, upon the 2nd annual Global Day of Action on Military Spending. It was also political prisoner’s day. Some visited Dr. Song Kang-Ho in prison and had one-man protest in front of the Jeju local court, demanding prompt release of him. People also visited Fr. Mun who is now being hospitalized since April 6 accident.
Meanwhile, intense struggle by people to stop construction (destruction) trucks and confrontation between people and police went on in the village.
A Catholic priest in robe... he stopped destruction for three hours
It was around 9am that Mr. Kim Jong-Il, field leader and former secretary of SPARK (Solidarity for Peace And Reunification of Korea) was arrested under the charge of violation on the rally and demonstration during his speech, being taken away along with wing car put near the naval base destruction gate. Two hours later, a woman activist, mother of six year old Taena was also arrested when she protested against destruction. Rev. Jeong Yeon-Gil was also arrested when he climbed up onto a cement mixer truck.
However, the police did not arrest Fr. Mun Kyu-Hyeon and Fr. Lee Young-Chan who put their bodies underneath and over the cement mixer trucks each, probably being afraid of provoking Catholic community by arresting them. Fr. Lee Young-Chan who had been arrested on April 16 was released on the night and Fr. Mun Kyu-Hyeon who had been hospitalized on April 16 was released on the same night, too. Anyway, thanks to dedication of Catholic Fathers, destruction stopped for several hours. The police unusually put mats beside trucks when they dragged down Fr. Lee and Rev. Jeong…making activists suspicious of their true intention. A peace activist was carried to hospital because of breathing problem when one was pressured down during dogfight with the police. An over excessive police suppression, you may call.
Please watch the video by Dungree: http://youtu.be/Yn7kczxb3v4
On April 17, the Island Council chairman made a strong demand to the Island governor to order the navy to stop construction (destruction). However, contrary to his and Island people’s wish to stop destruction, the police rather prohibited people’s rally etc. of which the letter was sent to the village as of April 13.
In their letter titled, ‘A notice on the prohibition of outdoor rally, demonstration and march,’ to the village, the Seogwipo Police Station announced that they would prohibit ‘all’ campaigns against naval base that would be held in the 6 places of sports park near the Gangjeong stream, parking lot, main gate of the naval base business committee building complex, main gate of the naval base construction area, Joongdeok three-way intersection, and Gangjeong port, from now on to May 12.
The letter has brought controversy on the violation of basic rights on freedom of expression, stipulated in the Constitution.
The Police have disallowed all reported rallies during the period of August to Sept. 15, last year, right before inputting large size state power into the village.
The village announced that they would “continue” protests including rallies regardless of the police letter.
On April 17, the ‘Review committee on the Gwaangju Human Rights award’ chose Fr. Mun Jeong-Hyeon as the prize winner of the award. The Gwangju Human Rights award, established in 2000 by the 5.18 memorial foundation is given to individuals or groups who have/has contributed for democracy, human rights and peace, which are the universal value of 5. 18. Fr. Mun is to become the first Korean and individual prize winner since the prize was established.
Otherwise, 90 teenagers are visiting the village, staying 8nights 9 days, to experience and join the struggle. An encouraging and inspiring event for the people here…