Leave us for farming!: Villagers succeed to dissipate the navy presentation on the military residential housing project
“Even though the naval base construction has not been completed, the navy is again raging wind with the matter of the military residence house in the Gangjeong village. The naval base would bring lots of conflicts such as radar base, helipad, powder magazine, training facilities, military airport, and more and more military residential house projects..”
How does the navy push the projects that accompany the large size land expropriation again when the tears of the Gangjeong villagers have not been dried yet for already large size land expropriation to build the naval base!
If it is a society where the powerless’ rights are repeatedly violated, even though the land expropriation is legal by the Act on Acquisition of and Compensation for Land, ETC. for Public Works, it is a society that has lost its justice.’
(Translated quotation from the statement by the Gangjeong Village Association, March 25, 2013: Source)
The navy planned to hold a presentation on the military residence housing project in the KimJung Culture Hall, Seogwipo City at 5 pm on March 26, 2013, but it was dissipated again in 10 minutes by about 100 Gangjeong villagers and peace keepers who stormed into the hall.
The villagers have already dissipated its hearing on May 29 and June 15, 2012. The navy plans to build an apartment of about 616 households in the 99,500 ㎡ in the B area by 2015. For that, they planned to build 384 households first in about 594,000 ㎡ there. The B area is composed of more than 60% rice paddies and fields, the best farming field of the village.
The villagers strongly denounced the navy saying “we did not receive an official letter from you,” “It is nothing but to say that we, villagers should die if you rob of our farming lands,” “Does it make sense that the navy who has said that it would co-exist with the local residents is to trample down us again by unilaterally holding a presentation?”
Despite that, the navy made a woman to hold a mike and speak that ‘the presentation starts now,’ bringing tremendous fury from the villagers and peace keepers. Eventually, the navy could not but acknowledge that the presentation was dissipated in 10 minutes. The navy is told to have originally thought that it would finish in 30 minutes.
The villagers and peace keepers made a strong unity again to stop the military base to enter into their Peace Island, to inherit the descendent the nature, culture, and history of the ‘Il-Gangjeong: The best village,’ of more than 450 years old in Jeju. Watch the video made by the Peace Nomad that made it on behalf of Dungree, the video maker who was jailed on March 25. (Source)
‘It reminds me 2007 when the Gangjeong village was chosen as a naval base construction area. At the time the navy drove the naval base construction project, [falsely] asserting that the villagers decided to install it even though the navy did not have any necessary reason to do it.” [..] It is a 65th anniversary of the 4.3 period again in a week. If the navy pushes the Jeju society with division and conflict again to enforce the military residential house in the Gangjeong village, the 4.3 spirits will never forgive them.” (Translated quotation from Prof. Shin Yong-In, Professor of the Law School, Jeju University: Source) You can see some photos of March 26 here and here. Here, two people are introduced. Here is a navy commander, Soong Moo-Jin (right in the photo)
After the Korean Presidential election on Dec. 19, 2012, some navy strategist have been (re)employed to take dividing strategies against the villagers. One of them is a man called Song Moo-Jin, who was in chrage of planning in the naval base project committee in the earlier period and now a navy commander.
He has entered the village in the beginning period of struggle, 2007 and had a role to decoy some villagers, eventually breaking the community. At the time, he was a lieutenant commander but a commander, now, after a service in the SSU (special salvation unit). His works included the followup of the Cheonan ship incident. It was coincident that the navy presentation and the 3rd anniversary of the Cheonan ship incident was on the same day. But is it just coincident? Wasn’t the navy planning to mislead people to remind the patriotism, blah, blah?
Video maker Dungree has made a video on his returning to the village on Jan. 24. See here. In the video, villagers are strongly criticizing him as soon as they saw he was stepping into the village. In the video, a man of dark green jumper. Song has greatly denounced by people when he sneaked into the Korean facebook called, “Gangjeong people” and made a pro-base propaganda on March 3, 2012. He was soon removed out from the group. Here is another navy.
The person in the right of the photo is a Captain Yoon Seok-Han. He was one of the representatives of the government side in the 3rd contact group meeting on Sept. 14, 2013, during the 2012 WCC Jeju from Sept. 6 to 15, 2012. You can see his face better in the video. He was the one who made remarkable remarks that ‘it is not right that the Gangjeong village and government talk on an equal position.” It was a remark that thoroughly ignores local autonomy and democracy. ( See related Korean script)
Both men were in civilian costumes. There were no pro-base side personnel who were in the military costume. There appeared also a man from the Daelim Industry who was often it working hat and cloth.
2. In the Gangjeong filed, the struggles by Catholic fathers and activists went on.
When most people went to the navy’s presentation for protest, Fr. Mun kept the main gate. The main gate opened again on the World Water day, March 22. The people have now to keep both gates in front of the naval base project building complexes and main gate.
The entry/exit of construction trucks went on even in the night.