Vicious police attack on Korean factory Occupation
Occupation takes place against backdrop of deeply unpopular Conservative Presidency
Pitch battles fought outside occupied plant- red flag still flies overhead despite repression
Report by Jacob Lee(Socialist Aotearoa member and Activist of ‘AllTogether’)
It’s been over 65 days since the first factory-occupation by the workers in ‘SSangyong Motors’. That company is the third biggest group producing cars in South Korea. On this April, the management declared that they would dismiss 2646 numbers of workers (36% of entire workers of the company) to get assistance from the government and banks. The South Korean government and creditors have not called any responsibility at all to the ‘ShangHai Motor Capital’ which had purchased SSangyong Motors dirt cheap and charged high.
Recently, the 2MB government has pushed forward many policies shifting responsibilities of economic crisis on only workers and the poor in South Korea. The strike and suppression I mentioned upward is a just mere part of huge Neo-liberalist reforms. Meanwhile, the SSangyong workers and a lot of supporters have been struggling heroically against the public enemy , such as 2MB and capitalists, occupying the car-factory(particularly the paint-shop which is the most dangerous to burned) in PyeongTaek City and requiring solutions like nationalization of the company. (There is my hometown…). The performing and voice of the workers and their families are completely right, therefore the majority of people in South Korea as well as the left groups and parties is still supporting and agreeing that idea at the very moment.
Now, many kinds of incredible oppressions are being occurred by the 2MB and Police around the factory. They have already done various things toward the workers and families to demoralize and disintegrate them. For instance, they did menace with going to law against them for damages and putting them in custody. Besides, they are trying to disintegrate the protesters in the factory in extremely brutal ways. They’ve compulsively not only cut off water and electricity in the factory but also banned going&coming of food and medical supplies that the workers need to survive, not to feel abundant. And they are suppressing the protesters and supporters violently in the rally every single day.
Crucially, the Police began to use lachrymatory liquid and Taser gun last week. In a word, I’d like to say that ‘Fuck off 2MB!”. Where the hell is democracy in Korea? Where the fuck is the freedom of the assembly and expression in Korea? The liquid is so strong that it can melt and burn people’s skin. The gun makes people fall down immediately and feel tens of thousands volts of electricity. It is bullshit as it were.
So far, hundreds of people have been arrested and some workers and their wives have died of stress or killed themselves. We should not allow them to be sacrificed any more. Nevertheless, the workers and families will fight continuously and finally win! In order to witness that victory, the Korean confederation of trade union( KCTU) should call a general strike right now(already claimed) and show the whole other worker’ solidarity.
Also, the radical left should support them in various ways as much as possible.
Please show and build solidarity for Korean workers!
Let’s say it all together, “2MB OUT!, Capitalism OUT!”
The most momentous moment is now strategically and tactically.
Thank you for your report on the Ssangyong workers.
Last weekend I had the privilege of attending the All Together conference in Seoul. I heard an inspiring speech from one of the wives of the striking workers. It was so moving to hear her determination despite police intimidation on a daily basis.
On Saturday, we joined a solidarity rally in support of the workers and against the new media law.