Friday, 13 August 2010

Korean radicals to battle against G20

A 'GREAT transformation' could sweep across the world as a result of radical action against the neoliberal G20 in South Korea this November.

That's the hope of the anti-capitalists who are planning masssive protests against the neoliberal summit as the global financial elite clamps imposes its will on communities across the world.

Writes Barb Dwyer on IndyBay: "While thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets during past G-20 Summits in North America and Europe, South Korean workers and activists have a long history of being even more militant in their struggle against the destructive policies of globalization than their counterparts in the Northwest hemisphere.

"In December of 1996, the South Korean parliament passed a new labor law which began a 'structural adjustment' austerity program on behalf of the IMF and World Bank.

"These programs require countries to make debt repayment a priority, and as a consequence forces them to cut essential social services such as health, education, and development, thus lowering their standard of living. These programs also open the door to the privatization of natural resources, such as ancient forests and public water supplies, to be exploited by multinational corporations.

"In the days that followed, 12 million South Korean workers went on strike to counter the new undemocratic labor law. In the years that followed, South Koreans continued to protest against the destructive policies of neoliberalism, most notably the WTO in 2003, World Economic Forum in 2004, APEC in 2005, and numerous other occasions.

"As the G20 approaches, the Korea Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) has announced it is planning to hold a rally and march on November 11th, the first day of the Summit. According to their website, '...the KCTU will do everything in our power to stage a massive anti-neoliberalism struggle that will gain attention of people and workers around the globe. To this end, we will prepare to hold People’s Action and be a leader of a great transformation.'

"South Korean workers have often utilized the direct action tactics of resistance, such as strikes and factory takeovers, to large street demonstrations. It is not uncommon that the workers are also armed with slingshots, molotov cocktails, and sticks.

"Often times, in an act of more desperate resistance, workers commit suicide outside of their factories, sometimes through self-immolation. South Korean police on the other hand, much like their counterparts around the globe, have also demonstrated their willingness to continually brutalize their own citizens to quell public dissent of these policies.

"It is a well documented and common tactic for South Korean police to scrape the bottom of their metal shields on the concrete in order to sharpen the edges into a blade before they thrust their shields into the throats of protesters. Over the years, this brutal police tactic has led to the horrific deaths of many South Korean workers.

"All this comes at a time when the fallout from past G-20's are still fresh in the air. During the 2009 G-20 Summit in London, Ian Tomlinson was beaten to death by police. On July 21st, 2010, his wife and nine children learned that the London police would not investigate his death, despite video and photographic evidence.

"None of the officers went to the aid of Tomlinson, who stumbled 100 yards down the road before collapsing and dying in front of thousands of demonstrators. In Canada, the police have begun an old-fashion witch hunt for the people they suspect are responsible for the property damage that occurred during the G-20 in Toronto.

"Up to 17 people are being charged with conspiracy and at least 4 individuals still remain in jail. In the wake of the Pittsburgh Summit, many cases still remain in court regarding criminal charges against activists, as well as the excessive use of force by police."