Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Massive protest underway in Seoul.

Not news to anyone here, but I just wanted to pass along this photo that I noticed on Korea Beat:

I'm kind of afraid to turn on the computer tomorrow morning to find out what happened. You know this isn't going to turn out well, and I'm sure Aesop has a fable about times like this.

One more, with plenty of more to follow tomorrow on the usual news sites:

* Update 1: Matt from Gusts of Popular Feeling stayed up late on a school night to put together a very nice recap of the events in cities nationwide. There are some other photos of the rally in Gwangju here and here and a couple of bad shots of the rally in front of Suncheon Station here. A lot of teachers from my school attended the all-night protest. "It was a lot of fun," my coteacher reported. Here's one participant in Suncheon's rally last night:

I don't understand how some people maintain that these rallies aren't about the Mad Cow scare and that young people aren't being coerced into attending. Perhaps I'd be less flabbergasted if there were nationwide protests on something not directly related to my country, who knows, but I do know that mobs of angry Koreans make me uncomfortable. Of all the things to get worked up about . . . seriously, of all the things to get worked up about, somehow it came to this.


Eileen said...

wow. that's amazing. thanks for posting the picture. Hope there's not too much anti-foreigner sentiment brewing. I'm an expat, too. So I worry about stuff like that. Chile's calm today though.

Jess said...

I have been wondering the same thing, regarding the "would I feel different if this wasn't about the US." Honestly, I'm still not sure. But at the end of the day, to most Koreans, we might as well all be from the States, so I don't know.

Thanks for posting the pictures and the summary.

Brian said...

Thanks for the visit, the link, and the comment. It had always really bothered me that I never had many readers actually from Jeollanam-do, haha.

Anyway, yeah, I don't think I would write so much about this were it not about Americans. I'll grant that a lot---don't know about "most," but a lot---are not actively anti-American. Thing is, I wonder if they even know the difference. I wonder if it even makes the difference.

But I think this may fall under the "same shit, different target" category, because we've seen how active Koreans people have been in protesting and stereotyping entire groups of people: teachers, GIs, Japanese, "foreigners," soccer referees, etc. So whethe this all was being aimed at Americans, Canadians, or groundhogs, I think a lot of us feel uncomfortable b/c we know it doesn't take very much to sic the crowd on us.

Jamie said...

Mad cow scare?

Nah, man.

This isn't a mad cow scare. The mad cow is an excuse for the Teachers' Union to coerce the children they "teach" into helping them make the biggest political and financial mistake in modern Korean history.

If they were scared of bad food, they would have done something about their own food safety shortcomings long ago.