Let’s Arm Gangjeong with Literature

Gangjeong Peace Library Project
  • Jeju 4.3 writer Hyeon Gi-Young, gives the statement proposing the Gangjeong Village Peace LIbrary. Image: Jeju Sori

Writers hold Gangjeong Village Peace Library Proposal Ceremony on Nov. 21

A group of 265 novelists, poets, playwrights, and writers nationwide have proposed a plan for a Peace Library Project in Gangjeong village. “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. They stated that they are planning to make a preparation team including writers, civil group members, and Gangjeong villagers to discuss and decide on the budget and detailed plan by the end of February. Following that, for one month they will make an organizing committee to discuss the actualization of the project. Then they will buckle down and begin the project on April 1.

During the ceremony, statements were made by several representatives. Go Gwon-Il, representative of the Villager’s Committee to Stop the Base, said, “This project should succeed so that hope can spring up in the villagers’ hearts, not by arms but by peace.”

Catholic father, Fr. Mun Kyu-Hyeon, said, “Writers are agents of God, delegating between God and humans. We welcome the prophets of this era who want to make Gangjeong into a Peace Library.”

Author Hyeon Gi-Young, representing the writers group, said, “We came here to comfort the Gangjeong villagers who are exhausted after 5 years of struggle. Just as our elders had to fight against the Yushin Regime [Dictator/President Park Chung-Hee’s administration] we too are thinking of peace. We hope that new life can blossom in place of the naval base.”

At the end of the ceremony they held a performance, passing out books to the police [who refused them] and then had a meeting with the villagers.

Click here for the full statement from the writers group.