| [urgent action] justice for Yongsan|
Friends and comrades,
In Yongsan, Seoul, South Korea, we have an emergency. January 20th, 2009, 1,500 police including the Korean SWAT team made a surprise attack on comrades who were trying to resist forced eviction and the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) “redevelopment” (or gentrification) program. This so-called “redevelopment” program has continued since the 1960s as an effort to transfer capital, shelter and wealth into the hands of large corporations like Samsung, Posco and Hyundai. Many people can’t afford to pay rent in these apartment complexes and buildings that these huge corporations are establishing with the support of the SMG.
After a large group of comrades who were occupying a building in Yongsan, Seoul, were surprise attacked on January 20th, 6 people were killed in a fire.
The SMG is trying to prosecute members of the National Evictee Alliance who were taking part in the occupation. These comrades are still having a sit-in struggle at the same building in Yongsan. A few months ago, the Candle Light Media Center was established in a building behind the sit-in struggle site. The media center is where many activists gather to work on media projects together.
The prosecutor’s investigation team (who were investigating the “Yongsan Disaster” in which 5 people died on Jan 20) consisted of 100 of the most elite investigators who wrote a 10,000-page investigation document. This investigation team interviewed passer-bys, the police authorities, the firefighters, the SWAT team chain-of-command, and investigated the site of the disaster. The prosecutors now have access to this 10,000-page investigation report and they are claiming that 20 members of the National Evictee Alliance are responsible for the deaths and that no police (or government) have responsibility. The court ordered the prosecutors to release the 10,000-page investigation report to the defending attorneys, but the prosecutors refused to release 3,000 pages of the document.
So far, the prosecutors have released 500 pages of the 3,000 hidden pages of the investigation report. These 500 pages have shown that the National Evictee Alliance comrades never attacked anyone, but used molotov cocktails in self-defense when police and thugs hired by construction corporations attacked. The 500 pages also show that rank-and-order police (including SWAT team) were not informed that the building contained paint thinner while the high-ranking authorities were aware of this fact when they made the decision to attack the occupied building.
The defense attorneys are suspicious that the remaining 2,500 pages provide evidence that the police and SWAT team attack was reckless and resulted in the deaths of 6 people. The trial is currently pending because the defense team is trying to take the case to the supreme court.
We need these 2,500 pages that the prosecutors are trying to hide from the defense team. We also need our right to shelter protected and not subjected to the brutal market economy.
Your comrades in Yongsan, Seoul need your help!
Please do something to help because this state apparatus needs people from around the world to shout at it!
I bet you can’t have a solidarity demonstration at your local Korean Embassy! Or can you?
I bet you can’t send an e-mail to the prosecutors and demand that they release the remaining 2,500 pages of the investigation report! I bet you’re way too lazy! Or maybe not?
Here’s the e-mail address of the prosecutors: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s the prosecutors’ phone number: 82-2-3480-2337
Here’s the prosecutors’ fax number: 82-2-3480-2405
Yongsan Coalition http://mbout.jinbo.net