Update: You can see the collection of international solidarity messages upon Yang’s 15th prison fast day, here.
Prof. Yang Yoon-Mo who was arrested and imprisoned directly from the court on Feb. 1 hits his 15th prison fast on Feb. 15.
There is a peace candle culture event, praying for the release of Yang Yoon-Mo.
In front of the Jeju Prison, 7 pm, Feb. 15 (Friday), 2013
Hosted by the Gangjeong Village Association and People loving Yang Yoon-Mo
If you could, please send a solidarity message for Yang Yoon-Mo no later than Feb. 13
: About 100 words, for the reason of translation, to the Gangjeong village international team (firstname.lastname@example.org)
: Update: You can see some solidarity messages in the bottom
You may also write letters to him (Prof. Yang can read Japanese):
Yang Yoon-Mo (No. 301)
Jeju Prison, 161 Ora-2 dong, Jeju City,
Jeju, the Demilitarized Peace Island, Korea
We thank Coco from the Maine, United States, who sent us a message days ago as the below.
‘Last night our peace and justice group distributed letter writing materials so Mr. Yang should be receiving letters of support soon. We also plan to paint a banner that we’ll carry to all rallies, regardless of the event, in the hopes to get questions from other activists as well as some TV media images. I’ll send a photo once the banner is made.’
More on Yang Yoon-Mo
A movie critic born in Jeju, summoned to save Beauty
“I am a (movie) critic. The role of a critic is to save the beauty to the end of one’s life. I have been enthusiastic to be voluntary to promote wonderful movies. Some people who could not understand me used to say whether I am misled by heroism or not. However, it is my faith to save the beautiful things.”
It was Feb. 8, his 7th prison fast day since his imprisonment on Feb. 1. He told his four visitors to the prison. The visitors included Mr. Kim Bok-Chul, Mr. Park Suk-Jin, Mr. Park Seung-Ho.
Prof. Yang looked peaceful and bright despite his status. The Gureombi Rock must be the venerable beauty for him that he is willing to pay his life.
In fact, his daily fast is carried out from hard resolution. According to Park Hee-Sou, Chairman of the Island Provincial Council, who visited Prof. Yang in the jail along with other two Council representatives and strongly recommended him stop of fast on Feb. 5, Prof. Yang said:
” I hear the sound of the Gureombi Rock being broken by construction(destruction) even sleep during the night. Even though I suffer every day, I am taking fast from the resolution that I have to inform the people the fact that the naval base construction itself is by evil law. If I spend one year and six months without difficulty, it means I acknowledge that I committed crimes.” ( Source)
However, it is true that his health has been rapidly weakened after the long time fasts of more than 74 days (including about 60 days’ prison fast) and 42 days (in jail, too) in 2011 and 2012 each. Many people hope him stop the fast from the worry of his health.
A movie critic who inherited the trauma of 4.3 incident
As a Jeju native, he is personally connected to the April 3rd incident (massacre and people’s uprising in the Jeju Island from 1947 to 1954). The younger brother of his grandmother (mother’s side) was one of the six victims killed by the bullets from the police governed by the US Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK) on March 1st, 1947. It was the commemorating day of people’s independence movement in 1919 against the Japanese imperialism from which the Korea was liberated on Aug. 15, 1945. The incident on March 1st, 1947 sparkled the period of the 4.3 incident afterward.
Prof. Yang was also told that his grandfather of mothers’ side was killed, too, during the 4. 3 incident. He has said that he could not forget those stories throughout his life and those stories must have become the source of his current fierce struggle against the war base- building in the Jeju.
According to the result of the investigation of the truth by the National Committee for Investigation of the Truth about the Jeju April 3rd Incident, the March 1 incident occurred when people’s complaints against the USAMGIK that governed South part of Korea from Sept. 9, 1945 to Aug. 15, 1948 were gradually spreading, while people’s expectation from liberation had become frustrated by the USAMGIK that allowed the succession of the police during the Japanese occupation under its governing.
The report reads (summarized and translated):
The US Army Military government recognizing that the commemoration rally on the 3.1 movement happening in the Jeju Island was led by the left wing [..] did not permit people’s street march and demanded them to change the rally venue to the Jeju west air field. However, about 30,000 crowd including the 17,000 people organized by the Namrodang (Workers Party of South Korea) and People’s Committee [..] etc. gathered near the North Jeju Elementary school. About 430 policemen including 330 from the Jeju and 100 from the main land carried security activities nearby.
After the event, the crowd started street march. At the time, a child was hit by a horse of a ranger. When the ranger was to continue to proceed whether he knew it or not, the crowd nearby him, infuriated to see the accident, ran into the site. The aiding armed policemen, mistaken that the crowd are to attack the police station, fired toward them. Six were killed and another six got heavy injuries.
The USAMGIK who did not know the whole truth of such firing incident asserted later that it was by self-defense, despite its acknowledgement of the wrongdoings. It also began to arrest the rally event staffs and students, defining the incident as the ‘incident of the protesters attacking the police station.’
The total civilian-government strike occurred from March 10, with the start from the Jeju Island government. About 40,000 people which are about 95 % of the whole workers from 23 institutes (which are mostly administrative institutes excluding the police and judiciary institutes), 105 schools, post offices, electric companies in the Jeju joined the strike. Even about 20 % of the Jeju police also joined the strike.
The Police started to roundup the strike-related personnel from March 15. During the process, another firing incident happened on March 17 when the crowd demanded the release of the prisoners. The police arrested about 500 people by April 10. Among the arrested, 66 policemen were laid-off and those men’s posts were replaced by those belonging to the West North Young People’s Association which was the right wing subjugation group that existed by the Korean War.The confrontation and conflict between the Jeju Island people and police and such group under the UAMGIK were more increased.
In the intelligence report by the UAMGIK on Match 19, 1947, the UAMGIK considered about 70 % of the Jeju Island people as the left wing or its sympathizers.
Regarding the 4.3 incident, please also refer to “U.S. And South Korea Assault an Idlylic Island: Not For the First Time.” By S. Brian Wilson-Veterans for Peace. You may also refer to the ‘Summary of the Report’s Conclusion,’ here.
It is tragic that the Jeju Island, designated as the Global Peace Island by the South Korean government on Jan. 27, 2005, to overcome the pain of 4.3, is currently suffering again from the history still present. Prof. Yang bears the history of Jeju in the past and present in his own soul.