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* See also Jeju Hwankyung (*Environmental) Ilbo, Jan. 18, 2011
제주 환경 일보, 2011년 1월 18일
Solidarity between Gangjeong villagers in relay one-man protest and workers in tent sit-in strengthens in front of the Island Hall.
릴레이 1인 시위 강정 노동자들과 천막 농성 노동자들 연대, 도청앞에서 튼튼해지다.
' No Jeju naval base!,' and 'No Woo Keun-Min Island government who stands by idly on oppression of labor unions!': A Gangjeong villager and chairman of the Jeju regional branch of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions
A villager making solidarity with the workers during workers' daily rally
The below is a partial translation of the literature written by the Gnagjeong village people’s Council on Jan. 17, 2011. You can see the original Korean statement HERE:
The Jeju was the Island of April 3 [uprising], of tragedy and exile. During the period of Sambyeolcho Rebellion, it was used as the last battlefield against the [invading] Mongolian force; during the period of the WW II, it was used as the last shield for Japan to deter the United States; and during the Korean War, it was an ‘Island of War’ that was used as the military training facility.
However, the Jeju Island is currently ‘the Island of Peace.’ The Jeju Island that has installed summit conferences and international meetings many times, starting with its designation of the road that Gorbachev, the ex-President of Soviet, as the ‘Peace Road,’ has carried out a great deal its role as buffer zone, being located in the middle of Northeast Asia that has been on the way of military cost build up.
[Its identity] as ‘Peace Island’ is its epoche-making, geopolitical mission and historical task that the Jeju Island has been given.
The Jeju Island that stablizes the North East Asia and contributes for world peace will be a treasure among many treasures that the people in the world should share and maintain together, without its three titles of being designated in the field of nature science by the UNESCO, and without its possible honor called as one of seven wonders of nature.
However, if the Jeju Island is built with military base and armed, there will be only way for the Jeju Island to return back to Island of tragedy, By when, should we repete such wrong history.
Being recorded as one of seven wonders of nature in the world could be the biggest achievemnet for the Jeju Islands since the establishment of the Republic of Korea [in 1948]. Among the sceneries that the Jeju Island have presented as the representing of it, there is the Beom Island, a nature memorial 421. The Beom Island is a rocky Island formed of volcano and undeneath which, the soft coral habitats, nature memorial No. 442, inhibit in the water, from the Moon Island in the East to the Deapo-dong, in the west.
There is a planned naval base area in the Gangjeong coast, which is 2.5 Km distance northwestward from the Beom Island. It is antinomic and illogical to drive for an environmental capital and one of seven wonders while conniving the naval base construction business expected of large-size environmental destruction in the soft coral habitats.
[Jeju Update] Criticism on drive for seven wonder with a naval base plan/ Island Council in fact rejects the villagers' demand (Jan. 17, 2011)
Workers in the Jeju Island met their 57th day tent sit-in on Jan. 18.
제주 노동자들, 1월 18일 날짜로 농성 57일째 맞음
Workers in the daily morning rally. The big letters say: Let's save democratic labor unions with solidarity and struggle.
Gangjeong villagers' struggle and workers' struggle facing and encouraging each other.
As of Jan. 18, the workers of the Jeju regional branch, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions met their 57th tent sit-ins that started on Nov. 23, last year. The snowflakes fluttered on Jan. 18, as well, but the workers’ will to protect their rights to live has not faded and seems to be more and more forged. The Jeju workers are currently fighting demanding of; the Jeju Medical Center’s withdrawal from the unilateral cancellation of group negotiation and Hospital Association’s stop of intervention between owners and workers; The Island provincial dance association’s withdrawal from the unjust lay-off of its workers(dancers) and Island authorities’ strict punishment of some government officers who have manipulated conflicts between owners and workers; and prosecutors’ through investigation on illegal unjust behaviors by the Woosung Apartment that brought its residents unjust harm.
The workers and Gangjeong villagers are building stronger solidarity confronting together against irresponsible Island government and Island Council, demanding them responsible settlement on the naval base issue and labor issue each. The workers have rallies three times daily, shouting their slogans while scolding the Woo Keun-Min Island government.
On Jan. 18, while making solidarity remarks for the Gangjeong villagers who have been fighting against naval base for three years and eight months, a leader of the workers mentioned people’s struggle in Tunisia. Saying that despite different nationalities, all the grassroots people in the world can keenly understand one another’s pain and hope in their struggles for a better world, he expressed and appealed solidarity with the people in Tunisia. There is an important fact to be mentioned. It has been wrongly known as if it had been the workers who broke the glass door of the Island Hall on Dec. 23, 2010 when the workers, infuriated by irresponsible attitude of the Woo government, have made body struggle with the Island government officers who blocked workers’ entry into the Hall. Truth is that the glass door was broken when the officers were pushed back into the door during body struggle. Still the Island governor has said as if it was the fault of the workers, misleading the public in the Island. Despite all the ordeals, the workers in the Jeju Island have become the symbol of Jeju Island people’s resistance against governing power, along with their comrades, the Gangjeong villagers.
Exihibition in the Island Hall 도청내 전시