rn:Seoul Activists’ Request for Solidarity


Jan Slakov

Dear Renaissance Network,

It is kind of fun to deride the Bush administration as I did with the
"Patriotic Stupor" message of March 8.

And fun will help keep us going. But, of course, this war is not fun at all.
The messages below will help us feel what it would be like to live in or
near to one of the countries that has been labeled "evil" and therefore is a
likely target for U$ attack. May our empathy for our sisters and brothers
who are being attacked with weapons our taxes have purchased spur us to
success. ...May we find ways to dry up the resource-flows that allow this
war to continue. May we find ways to get the truth out, to stop the killing.
May we make our communities stronger and stronger so that we need no longer
rely on this criminal economic system for essentials like food, energy
supplies, etc. 

all the best, Jan (and thanks to all of you, who contribute to these efforts!)
From: "Carolyn Langdon" <•••@••.•••>
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 19:31:50 -0500
Statement by Women Making Peace and Women's Peace
Action against War
following U.S. President Bush's hard-line rhetoric
directed at North Korea

February  7,  2002
Seoul, Korea

We absolutely cannot accept words threatening war on
the Korean peninsula.

Last year when President Bush declared war on
Afghanistan, he demanded that every nation stand on
his side.  President Bush has now announced the second
stage of the war on terrorism.  In doing so he has
called North Korea, Iran and Iraq an axis of evil with
an implied threat of war on the Korean peninsula.  A
sensation of fear and anxiety is upon us.

The U.S administrations hard-line rhetoric directed at
North Korea is a threat to Koreans who have worked so
hard for peace and peaceful reunification on the
Korean peninsula.

Bush's pronouncement has come at a point in time when
many active non-governmental exchanges have been
revived among South Koreans and North Koreans,
building again a spirit of trust between the South and
the North.  This also occurs just ahead of the South
KoreaU.S Summit in February.  Bush's words mean that
South Korea-North Korea and North Korea-U.S relations
are not going to be easy.  Furthermore, dividing the
world into two parts of good and evil and increasing
the likelihood of military arms deployment throw the
world into a semi-war state. We women, who have
suffered militarism, are greatly worried that physical
and mental violence coming from militarism can
devastate the world and humankind. Therefore, we women
for the sake of peace and security on the Korean
peninsula and moreover for a peaceful world, make
known our demands as follows:

First, we strongly protest Bush's promotion of an
atmosphere of war and creation of a pervasive sense of
terror while seeking to gain hegemony. We demand that
Bush renounce his bellicose words.

Second, we reject any kind of military action that
increases tension and conflict on the Korean
peninsula. We women know from experience that military
action brings violence around the world and amplifies
it towards women, children and innocent civilians.
Also growing tension and military action will surely
ruin the whole economy on the Korean peninsula.  There
have been talks between North Korea and the U.S. about restraining the
spread of weapons of mass destruction.  We women urge the U.S to solve
problems by continuing to talk and negotiate with North Korea, not
through military action.

Third, we insist that the U.S stop forcing arms
purchases and cease using alleged threats from North
Korea as an excuse to justify Missile Defence(M.D.)
program.  We are deeply concerned about the U.S. M.D.
U.S. talk of M.D. has built up tension in Northeast
Asia and also made an arms race a near certainty.
North Korea has expressed its moratorium on missile
tests until 2003. In the wake of 9/11, North Korea
condemned the terrorist attacks and signed several key
UN antiterrorism pacts. We women sincerely urge that
advanced science, technology, and huge material
resources rather than being used to hasten hostile
military confrontations be employed to improve the
welfare, human rights, and environmental conditions of
the weak.

Fourth, we request that the Kim Dae Jung
administration protest and clearly draw back from
hostile U.S. policy targeting North Korea.  South
Korea, which has maintained a military alliance with
the U.S., requires skillful political leadership in
carrying out a peaceful reunification process with
North Korea.  How can South Korea now accept seeing
North Korea become a target of war in U.S. sights?
This is an issue entwined in our livelihoods and our
very lives.  We women insist that the South Korean
Government be the driving force behind a
Reconciliation and Cooperation Policy and that it
carry out the Policy with positive action and wisdom.

Fifth, the press must realize that this crisis is
directly connected with the fate of our nation and the
people. We plead that this matter be carefully dealt
with in order to serve the national interest and to
promote peace on the Korean peninsula.

Lastly, we fervently hope that students, politicians,
religious leaders, Women's Organizations, and Peace Organizations in the
U.S. will take steps to halt the spread of war rhetoric and the threat
of military action.  With them and all the peace-loving women and people
in the world we may strongly oppose war together.  We promise to
continue our efforts to uphold and keep peace.  We also declare that
sustaining peace on the Korean Peninsula is essential to maintaining and
advancing the peace of the world.
Living together in harmony is the imperative choice
for our world.

Women Making Peace
Women's Peace Action against War.
Korea Women's Associations United
Kyungki Korea Women's Associations United, Kwangju and
Chonnam Korea Women's Associations United, Taegu and
Kyungbuk Korea Women's Associations United, Pusan
Korea Women's Associations United, Chonbuk Korea
Women's Associations United, Kyungnam Women United,
Christian Women Minjung Association, Taegu Women's
Association, Taejon Women's Association, Pusan Sexual
Violence Counseling Center, Pusan Women's Social
Institute, Korean Catholic Women Association,
Aaewoomtuh, Suwon Women's Association, Korean Women's
Center For Social Research, Ulsan Women's Association,
Korean Women Farmers Association, Cheju Women's
Association, Chonbuk Women's Association, Pohang
Women's Association, Korea Daycare Center Teacher's Association, Korea
Sexual Violence Relief Center, Korea Women Worker Association, Women
Link, Korean Women's Studies Institute, Korean Women Theologian
Association, Korean Women's Hot Line, Korean Differently Abled Women's
United, Taegu Housewives Association For Environment Korean Catholic
Women's Community for a New World My Sister's Place Peace Mother The
Korean Council For the Women Drafed for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan
Korean Church Women United Committee of Women, Korean Federation for
Environment Movement

Contact Point: Gyung-Lan Jung(•••@••.•••)

Carolyn Langdon
STLC Forum
27 Front St. E.
Toronto, ON
(416)366-1656 x274
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From: "Bruna Nota" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: What Happened during Bush visit in Seul
Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2002 10:21:51 -0500



Gyung-Lan Jung just sent me this note. I am forwarding it to all of you for
your information and possible action to express sympathy and support to
Hyun-Sook Lee and Women Making Peace.  You can send your notes to Gyung-Lan
Jung <•••@••.•••>



March 5, 2002

Dear Friends,

Greetings from Seoul!

I would like to inform you of what happended to some activists during a
street demonstration against Bush policies at the time of his visit to South
Korea. Many friends abroad have been wondering what is going on in South
Korea and especially about the activities of Women Making Peace(WMP) with
respect to our campaign for peace at this time of heightened war tension
caused by Bush. 

I put some outline of events during Bush's visit and Ms. Hyun-Sook Lee's
injury and so on. Ms. Hyun-Sook Lee is a co-representative of Women Making

In Solidarity,

Gyung-Lan Jung
Women Making Peace

1. An outline of events

The members of WMP have carried on a variety of demonstrations and programs
against war and violence since 911. We have raised the people's awareness of
issues, their conviction against war, and
their desire for lasting peace. We have promoted sending messages of this
stand to President Bush and President Kim.

After Bush declared North Korea to be part of an "axis of evil" and used
other inflammatory rhetoric
interpreted by North Korea as insulting, we, South Koreans, have felt uneasy
about the increased possibility of war on the Korean peninsula. The general
level of anger and frustration with Bush and his
administration is on the rise because of Washington's disregard for the
hazards thrust upon us. WMP has declared its position and carried out daily
one-person demonstrations prior to Bush's visit. (Korean
regulations prohibit mass demonstrations near foreign embassies and other
locations.) We also joined in 
planning and holding a mass open-air demonstration held with other NGOs,
civic leaders, and church people during the Bush visit.

On February 20, 2002, Chongno-4ga (the name of a street) was filled with
over 6,000 citizens including women, laborers, farmers and students. (Some
students were prevented from joining by police.)
People from environmental, reunification, religious, and other organizations
from all over the country were there. The participants proclaimed themselves
adamantly against war and in favor of a permanent peace. They called on Bush
to revoke his hostile stance toward the North. They declared opposition to
an unequal world order based on neoliberalism and globalization. They
objected to Bush's very visit to
South Korea. This public gathering proceeded peacefully as a lawful
demonstration permitted by the 
government. Women especially elevated the peaceful mood by sitting at the
front of the stage with colorful dove-shaped pickets. (It was so beautiful!)

However, all of a sudden, the police came into the crowd of demonstrators
when farmers were about to burn a small American flag made of paper. This
action by the farmers was not part of the planned
program, but the problem was the aggressive and violent action of the
police. They hit participants with their shields and billy clubs. A few
excited participants began to resist them, and the meeting
fell into disorder.

2. On the injury of Hyun-sook Lee

Due to the violent and excessive action of the police, some participants
were injured and bleeding. One of them was Hyun-sook Lee, a
co-representative of WMP. She was beaten by police. Her glasses were broken,
and she was bruised. Furthermore, she was seriously hurt on the left side of
her face by something unknown. Members of WMP were very shocked by the blood
that followed and took her to the
emergency ward of a general hospital. She had over 50 stitches taken in the
wound, a procedure 
lasting 40 minutes.

3. Following events

Reports on Lee's injury were carried by MBC (a major broadcaster in Korea)
and Ohmynews (a web-based newspaper, www.ohmynews.com) among others. The
press criticized the violent action of
the police.

Women Making Peace declaimed this violent action by those responsible for
the well-being and safety of the people. They have called for just
punishment of the guilty given the breach of security due peaceful and
lawful demonstrators. WMP and other organizations visited Seoul police
headquarters to meet the Seoul Chief of Police, but were denied access.

We, Women Making Peace, deplore the handling of this incident. We don't want
any violence. We will continue to press for redress, and we will continue
our efforts for peace through campaigns,
statements, and nonviolent representation of our views.

If you want peace, live peace,  prepare for peace and work for justice
NOTE from Jan:
Here is the reply (to my message of support) that Gyung-Lan Jung sent me:
From: Gyung-Lan Jung <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: Women Making Peace
To: Jan Slakov <•••@••.•••>
Cc: •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••

Dear Jan Slakov,

Thank you for your message.
I will send your sympathy to Hyun-Sook Lee.

Yours in Peace,

Gyung-Lan Jung

--- Jan Slakov <•••@••.•••> wrote:
> Greetings,
> I was saddened to learn of the injuries inflicted on
> those demonstrating for
> an end to this idiotic war and especially of the
> terrible injury inflicted
> on Hyun-Sook Lee.
> I wish to extend my sympathy to her and my gratitude
> for the work you  and
> your group do. I hope that we will succeed soon in
> bringing and end to this
> terrible violence. I hope we will succeed in our
> efforts to bring about
> peace and justice.
> With gratitude, love, respect and best wishes, Jan
> Slakov