The first thought that people might have in mind when thinking about civil disobedience are students, anarchists and the like. The civil disobedience mouvement in Gangjeong against the construction of a US/Korean naval base in a designated UNESCO biosphere site, however, is as diverse as it can get.
These are just a few examples:
Prof. Shin Yong-In, a law professor has joined the mouvement because: ” In the situation when every legal efforts to stop unjustly dominating power became meaningless, there is nothing that I, a law school professor and lawyer can do to stop the forceful naval base construction. Even now, there are Gangjeong villagers and peace activists in front of the Gangjeong construction site, who struggle risking the danger of punishment, by delaying naval base construction (destruction) even for 5 minutes. They are the people who follow the law of consciousness in the situation when the laws of the positive and of the conscious clash each other. They are in fact already doing the civil disobedience movement. Their courageous resistance make me feel shame, who have been confined inside the fence of the positive law, and make me ask what the true law is. Now, aspiring for the peaceful settlement of the conflicts in the Jeju naval base project and for the realization of just law, I will start the civil disobedience movement until the government and navy stop the enforcement of naval base construction. I will stop, with my body, entry and exit of construction vehicles in front of the main gate of naval base construction site more than once a week.
The mayor of the village is very active in the movement and has already spent time in prison:
Sung Sim Jang is on hungerstrike and on her 7th day without any water
Priests from all over the country have joined the mouvement:
The signs read:
The big yellow one: “Strong objection to the US imperial naval base against China”
The small one on the left:
“Stop constructing the US naval base and cut off next years budget”
The small one on the right:
“Absolute objection to the US naval base constructed by the blood tax of our people”
And of course concerned citizen from all over Korea
and even from Japan
This is but a small example of the courageous people blocking the construction site 24/7
All images ©2012 Carole Reckinger. Do not reproduce without written permission