“Commie?’ Gangjeong villagers whose hearts were broken and infuriated by the words of ROK Vietnam War Veterans
For more photos on the event, see here.
On July 1, Son Jeong-Mok, Vice-chief of the Joint Naval Operation visited Gangjeong for ‘reconciliation,’ saying he wants to talk with both of pro and con base villagers. However, on the very day, two people, Dr. Song Kang-Ho and Br. Park Do-Hyun were illegally taken away and arrested on the sea when they monitored illegal construction (destruction), by the coast guards who should do the very job of monitoring on illegal construction (destruction). A world being reversed too grotesquely.
It was around 1 pm when the people ended the press conference in protest to the illegal arrest of two in the morning and had a break following Catholic mass and human-chaining in front of construction gate. A large size VIP white bus that reads ‘Choongnam branch of the Vietnam War Veterans Association’ (an ultra-right wing group) suddenly stopped in front of main gate and then it vomited its tens of members in a pale green uniform t-shirts.
It was even heard that a thug(so called company ‘security’ guy) said to them that it is not the main entrance but the main gate of the naval base project committee building complex is. Mayor Kang Dong-Kyun who happened to see them strongly protested to their unwelcoming visit to his village. Then some veterans rushed to him and rudely touched their hands to his body, slandering him as “commie”-such astonishing and dangerous situation! It was such suspending and anxious situation from the worry of possible injuries of people!
Please imagine. Not only mayor Kang himself, but many Gangjeong villagers, and Jeju island people have suffered from the unreasonable and violent label of “commie family,” put on them while their innocent members of families and relatives were falsely accused as “commies” and killed during the 4·3 incident. The truth is that they were only innocent farmers or fishermen. Now the Gangjeong villagers who merely aspire to save their hometown suffer from the dual bridles that connect the past and current, being called as “Pro-North Korean” as if a nightmare is revived.
The ghosts of Won Sei-Hoon and the Vietnam War veterans’ such unreasonable and violent remark is a kind of ideological oppression to break down people’s will for peace and democracy. It could be called as ‘psychological military operation.’ During the 4·3 and Vietnam War, the oppressors labeled people as “commies,” and mass massacred them, as if they are following ‘textbook.’ However, the Vietnam War veterans seem not to know that they are also the victims of history by the manipulated ideology. The traces of ROK veterans’ atrocities in Vietnam are still vivid.
In Gangjeong, it is a thing to put nail to the villagers’ hearts that already suffer from the destruction of Gureombi Rock and sea which are like mother’s bosom. Further many villagers feel pain for the news of arrest of two on July 1.
The protest by villagers, including mayor who insisted truthful apology from the veteran who committed such slander, facing the veterans and policemen who attempted to hide the man of remark and to pacify incident, was strong. According to Fr. Kim Sung-Hwan, Koo Seul-Hwan, Security director, and Yang, Intelligence director of the Seogwipo Police Station threatened villagers who were to enter inside bus for protest that they would ‘accuse’ them and said to them they should not do ‘illegal activity.” Fr. Kim points out though, “However they just leave the illegal construction (destruction).”
The policemen eventually forcefully removed villagers who were protesting in front of bus to demand apology and were to make bus enter inside the naval base project committee building complex. The villagers fought hard till 3 pm when the incident ended. Following the arrest of two on the first day of July 1, July 2 was another hard day for the people in Gangjeong. The village siren rang again. Mayor who happened to be surrounded by the policemen fell on the ground and could not be seen of his appearance for a short time, to people’s concern.
The positive thing is that many villagers appeared. The people in the field could more confirm their solidarity will and human love. The people who crave for justice are beautiful and shining.
Maybe the traitors of history forgot the fact that the people rise up for democracy and justice if there is oppression!
As of July 8, 2013,
Yang Yoon-Mo(prisoner No. 301), 158th day of imprisonment and
Kim Young-Jae(prisoner No. 435),88th day of imprisonment.
Dr. Song Kang-Ho and Br. Park Do-Hyun, 8th day of detention in the Jeju Coast Guard. The court made decision to imprison both on July 5.
Release all the conscientious prisoners!
Immediately stop war base build-up of environmental destruction and infringement of human rights!