Following the Villagers’ monthly Unity Day that started on Nov. 25, 2nd Unity Day was held amid rain on Friday, Dec. 14. On the day, about 50 villagers marched toward the gate of the naval base project committee building complex.  It was a day that the villagers made public their statement on the Gangjeong Village Civil Disobedience Movement in front of the gate (You can see the original Korean statement, here).

Photo by Jang Hyun-Woo. For more photos by Jang Hyun-Woo on Dec. 14, see here.


Statement on the Gangjeong Village Civil Disobedience Movement


Our Gangjeong village is a village of more than 450 years during which we have supported all sorts of household matters and busy works one another and shared affection together based on the spirit of Sooneuleum. It is our hometown that has been called as Il-Ganjeong (Meaning Gangjeong, the best village) because of the best water, crops and life in the Jeju Island.

However, we are experiencing an act of barbarity committed [by the government] that decided one day to install so called a national policy project in the village  like a thunderbolt from a clear sky, without going through the process of collection on the villagers’ opinions but reasoning that a small part of the villagers hoped the invitation of the naval base construction. We are also experiencing daily suffering because the navy and Government abetting pro-base villagers make them alienate from the anti-base villagers and  overissue accusations and charges against the latter, which makes irrecoverable gaps of conflicts between parents, siblings, relatives and friends.

Even during the darkest period of 4.3 when about 80 innocent Gangjeong villagers suddenly met unnatural death by the military of the Republic of Korea, the Gangjeong villagers protected and cared for one another. However, the Gangjeong village today is divided by the hostility to suspect and hate one another.

Therefore, the Gangjeong villagers having declared the Life and Peace village in Nov. 2007,  gathered their spirits to build the village where their descendents can be blessed with peace to be recovered again and environment where life can overflow. We have been unbearably fighting with the flag of ‘absolutely no naval base,’ for five years and seven months by now because the Jeju naval base not only would increase the threat of war by fostering tension with the neighborhood countries despite it is a security project restraining  outbreak of war, would harm even the basis of security due to the conflict between the civilian and military but also would never fit to the value of life and peace.

However, we are proud of ourselves having our claims within the legal frame that fits to the value of life and peace and having pledged ourselves moderated acts that there should be no group violence to be occurred even when legal protests cannot be established [and we could not but unavoidably take the illegal forms]. However, during the process when the police unlawfully imprisoned the mayor, leader, of the Gangjeong village,  there occurred a situation when the villagers besieged the police and confront them. Then the Government using the event as a momentum, declared the political situation of public security, dispatched a large size riot police, and enforced naval base project with physical power. And the situation of so severe infringement on human rights has been continued for more than a year.

It is not only unconvincing disposal for our cry to respect life and aspire peace to be recognized as the threatening existence to the Government but justice is being lost as even the law that is the standard of a society submits to the power of the Government, adding power to it.

Therefore the Gangjeong village residents, following the value of life and peace village and ethical standard, declare that they would manifest their rights as the citizen through the civil disobedience movement until the law is equal to everyone and the state power recovers its neutral position in the [Government]driving process of the Jeju naval base construction project.

While we resist with the principle of non-violence and peace, we will protect the Gangjeong village of the Land of Life, being firm without stepping back. To build the village where our sons and daughters, and their sons and daughters are proud that they are part of Korea and are willing to accept their responsibility to keep their hometown and care for life, we stand here deeply inscribing in our hearts that the civil disobedience movement that aims for the law to be righteously hold up is the most sacred mission for the citizens’ justice to be realized.

We demand the judicature, prosecutors, police, navy and the Government.

We hope that the judicature establishes its position again for its mission to make the authority of law righteously stand and to protect the order of democracy.

We hope the prosecutor and police are born again as those true canes for the people, not to mention their righteous establishment as the para judicature institutes, so that they get out of their mean appearance of standing sided with the haves.

We hope the navy comes into the stage of a reasonable and fair dialogue, stopping the construction itself for the purpose of ending mass production of social conflicts that take down the basis of security itself and even put the basis of the existence of a nation in danger.

We hope the Government would stop the Jeju naval base project on which so many problems have already been disclosed and by which infringement on human right violation have seriously occurred. We also hope that the Government, accepting its mission to unite the citizens, recovers the honors of the Gangjeong villagers and peace keepers who have been under false accusations and disadvantages, and totally re-examine the Jeju naval base project at the same time.

From today as the starting point, we declare that we, the Gangjeong villagers join together with their first sacred step in the spirit of time for the historical progress in which the justice of the judicature righteously stand and we make the world of no discrimination.

Dec. 14, 2012

The villagers and peace keepers of Gangjeong, the Life and Peace Village


Photo by Jang Hyun-Woo. The banner reads ‘Civil disobedience movement against the Jeju naval base.’ People such as Kim Jin-Suk, a legendary leader of the Hanjin Heavy Industry Workers’ struggle visited the village to encourage the villagers’  struggle. For more photos by Jang Hyun-Woo on Dec. 14, see here.

Photo by Jang Hyun-Woo. For more photos by Jang Hyun-Woo on Dec. 14, see here.

After the event, villagers shared meals in front of the gate, to stop the construction vehicles. During the protest, a disable was arrested but he was released in hours.


See also
South Korea’s a high court of justice just ruled out that the plan of military installation on GANGJEONG is lawful and valid action to go. This ruling was based on the Supreme Court’s decision that some part of the plan needed to be reviewed by the high court of justice in 2009. One more reviewing by the Supreme Court to go for the final ruling. (10:00 AM KST)

There were three lawsuits regarding the naval base. The first is the action filed by GANGJEONG Townhall claimed the permission of Jeju Provincial government to use the public water surface for naval base construction was illegal. The second is the action filed by GANGJEONG residents claimed the executive order from the provincial government to expire the absolute preservation site is illegal. The last one is the action filed by GANGJEONG townhall that the plan of military installation which is naval base at GANGJEONG is illegal. Each lawsuit had three trial cases, court of first instance, a high court of justice and the Supreme Court of justice and didn’t make it. This court’s ruling is caused by the supreme court of justice says some of details are not enough to make illegal and sent it back to the high court of justice for another hearing and ruling.

(By Fox David)


Court deems Jeju naval base lawful

On Dec. 13|home|newslist1
(Fwd by Christian Karl)

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