“Writers Action 1219” held the “Gangjeong Village Peace Library Proposal Ceremony” in front of the Jeju Naval Base project construction gate on November 21. 23 representatives from the group attended and joined the civil disobedience campaign, joined by activists, villagers, and Catholic fathers. Below is their official statement made at the ceremony. Click here For further details and pictures.
We Want to Arm Gangjeong Village with Literature:
Proposal for the Creation of a Gangjeong Village Peace Library
As we stand here today each of us carries a book. We know that fire could turn this book to a handful of ashes. Water could turn it to a lump of batter. It could also be torn to pieces and scattered by the Gangjeong wind. But we know that it is the son of a tree, so it is the breath of the forest and the heart of nature. We know that the salamander and the red-foot crab live together in it, and the Aster Yomena and Cladium chinensis Nees plants grow together, and we know that life and anima are connected like the stonewalls of this village. Above all things, we know that the heart of this book is like the Gureombi Rock.
Therefore, today, we would like to launch this villager and civil group cooperative project, the “Creation of the Gangjeong Village Peace Library”. For the red-foot crab to crawl, the Cladium chinensis Nees to sway, and for the natives’ laughter to be heard by those that pass through Gureombi. For the Sarangbang [a type of traditional Korean guestroom] of beautiful life to protect and live with this sea longer than billy clubs, guns, swords, and cannons. We will arm this village with hearts of hope, peace, and solidarity against their arms of domination, hegemony, and war.
But literature does not occupy peace through destruction and replacement. We will not “build a library in Gangjeong Village” but “build Gangjeong village into a library”. We will clean and repair an old and empty house and connect homes to each other so that the whole village can be a library. We will create a library where adults can read books, children can dream, and together they can share stories, creating a presence of peace. This project will not end in a moment but will be forever with Gangjeong village.
We are going to put our effort into creating the Gangjeong Village Peace Library.
One, we will let everyone know about the meaning and necessity of the Peace Library through paper and action.
One, we will share everything necessary for creating the Peace Library and actively participate in the particulars of preparation.
One, we will steadfastly contribute to the Peace Library, the literature we have published thus far and will publish in the future.
One, we will participate joyfully in various literature events, lectures, and etc., which the Peace Library will hold in the future.
As we stand here today each of us carries a book. Tomorrow, we will become these books and protect this place as that book. Each letter in the book will crawl out like the Japanese mitten crab, wanting to see a recovered Gureombi, recovered lives, and a peaceful, beautiful Gangjeong Sea again. Because we believe literature is the food of Peace and solidarity for hope.
We desire that villagers and civil groups participate together in the preparation of this project and our will is that this project will lead to the total annulment of the Gangjeong Village U.S. Naval Base.
November 21, 2012
Seong-ho Ham & Sun-woo Kim
Gangjeong Village Peace Library Project “Writers Gathering” Preparation Representatives