Father Joseph Oh, a convenutal franciscan from Seoul spends most of his holidays in Gangjeong to support the struggle.
After 11am mass in front of the gate, and the arrival of yet again over 300 policemen to remove the peaceful protesters, he greeted them with dancing Gangjeong Style
Here a reference for those who have not yet seen the most popular song in Gangjeong. A parody of the famous Gangnam style:
Father Joseph Oh explains that the main social justice issues he is currently fighting for in Korea are:
- Ssangyong- A motor company based in Seoul outsourced its labor to China and India and laid off around 700 workers in 2009. Due to severe depression and their inability to find work and sustain themselves financially, 22 former employees have committed suicide.
- Yongsan- Residents in this district of Seoul were forced out of their homes for a redevelopment plan. With very little compensation, they decided to protest in order to save their homes. Riot police were deployed and soon a fire started on the tower they were protesting on – five tenants were burned to death. There are still no answers as to how the fire started and all tenants were ultimately forced out- or are still in jail.
Father Joseph Oh tells me that in the beginning when the villagers were fighting alone against the navy base, the police was much more violent. They used to hit people. According to him, the police have used less violence since activists from the mainland have joined in. They know that the news will spread far beyond Gangjeong if they use excessive force.
He comes to Gangjeong in his free time “To keep Gureombi rock alive, protect the villagers of Gangjeong, protect the nation from war, and to preserve the natural beauty that God created”
Then. like all the other priests, he joins the occupation of the entrance
All images ©2012 Carole Reckinger. Do not reproduce without written permission