(Original Korean literature can be seen here)
A prayer greeting a New Year sun-rising of 2013
We pray to the gods of heaven and earth, and our ancestors, with our earnest hearts.
We, the villagers, are aware of the preciousness of life and peace that our ancestors have built with numerous bloods and sweats, no little than any other else. That is why we, having declared our village as the Life and Peace village, stated that we would transform it into the hometown for all the human beings in the world to look for, by uniting and co-existing based on the good revival of the tradition of Sooneuleum spirit in which we have helped one another and lived together. And based on such experience, we started march here in the Gangjeong village, and walked again and again, together with the grassroots in the various fields of the nationwide, appealing “Let’s live together, all is the sky’ to all the people in the nationwide and world. Finally arriving in the Daehanmoon, the center of Seoul, many of us are still fighting against inequality, injustice, anti-democracy, anti-human rights, anti-life and anti-peace of this land, which are more unbearable than the weather of the coldest period of snowy winter.
The reason that we have fought against the naval base, taking down all the things we have, was not for the advancement for one’s life or advantage. To conserve our village well as in the past is to save the beautiful nature and community of the village, to save the Jeju economy, to strengthen the national security, and to save the world peace. However, the state power that should protect the residents’ lives has arrested more than 690 villagers and peace activists, imprisoned 22 people, and took indiscriminate judicial disposal on more than 480 people. Therefore a village that has lived peacefully for hundreds years is being ghastly destroyed and peace activists who are with us are falling down, broken and crying shedding bloody-tears.
However, there are the people who have turned their backs on, tearing for the reason that they feel the opposition movement against the naval base is tiresome but later returned back and stand here again. There are the people who teach us hope not sadness and despair. Therefore, we will not say any more that we are sad or the struggle is hard. We will make an effort for the little fire of life, peace, and human rights not to die but light again in our village and whole world, like a slogan that ‘we can do, we do and accomplish, we did, we win, and the persistent will win.’
For us, the last six years were like a war everyday. Gods of heaven and earth, and our ancestors! Please protect our village that has been well succeeded for hundreds years. Please protect our generous and virtuous villagers. Please protect the lives and health of all the people who are with us. Please protect life, peace, and human rights of this land. Please give us power to save this sea, land, and sky. Please help us to return back to our original beautiful and peaceful appearance in our life.
Sincerely praying to the gods of heaven and earth, and our ancestors:
Please help us to establish a dignified world where every human being and life of this land live peacefully together! Please help us to join the common actions of ‘let’s live together, all is the sky, by which all the people who have made the first steps in our Gangjeong village can cry, laugh and feel sympathy together, making a joyful and pleasing solidarity. Please help us to be willing to be together with the suffering people in the low places of South Korea. Please help our country where the people can be truly the masters and our village to be the epicenter of the world peace.
A.D. Jan. 1! New Year morning!
The Gangjeong villagers in a body