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More than 50,000 people mobilized against Korea-US FTA

Korean Alliance against the KorUS FTA Newsletter #1

More than 50,000 people mobilized against Korea-US FTA

As the typhoon "Ewinia" hit the Korean peninsula, the struggle against the 2nd round talks started. The 2nd meeting of the Korea-US FTA started on 10th of July. Despite the fact that public opinion turns against the FTA dramatically, the Korean government doesn’t stop pushing the FTA. Only 27 percent say they believe it would be more beneficial than harmful.

The first day of the FTA meeting on 10th July started with provocation from 3,000 riot police. When Korean Alliance of the KorUS FTA(KoA) representatives tried to have a conference in front of Hotel Shilla where the FTA meeting was being held, riot police rushed into the site of the press conference. Riot police was even trying to pull and took away a truck that was being used as a stage for the event.

On 12th which was the peak of the struggle opened with irregular workers’ struggle demanding Stop Korea-US FTA with irregular workers’s issue. Farmers, Workers, Street Venders and the poor had rallies by sectors around the central part of Seoul. Korean Confederation of Trade Unions(KCTU) held a rally demanding ’Stop the Korea-US FTA, Withdraw a Roadmap for modernizing Industrial Relationship, Achieve Basic 3 Rights for Disguised Workers" at Seoul Station before the National Rally against Korea-US FTA.

While more than 50,000 people joined the national rally in front of Seoul City Hall, KoA declared to continue its struggle to end the negotiation process and to demand step down of president Rho Mu-hyun unless the government stop the FTA negotiation. Crshing with riot police when the demonstrators tried to march toward presidential residence, they was chanting anti-globaliztion and anti-Korea-US FTA slogans. Tension rose when the riot police suppressed demonstrators with water canon. Police blocked main street and shut down several subway station as well. At the end of the day, demonstrators had closing rally for the day in front of the US embassy.

Struggle were continued during the talks over the FTA. On 13th 2,000 farmers and anti-globalization activists had a Korea-US FTA funeral marching to the meeting place. The struggle against the 2nd round talks ended with the end of the talks. Our struggle, however, is net ended yet. We, the Korean Alliance against the Korea-US FTA, is organizing many campaigns and mobilization against it. We are planning to the US in time of the 3rd round of the Korea-US FTA meeting and We will keep fighting in solidarity with people in the US and all over the world to end the Korea-US FTA and Neoliberal globalization. KoA