Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Korea's US Beef Protest - Part 1 of 3

As you may have heard, South Korea is currently in the news for its ongoing nightly protests against the importing of American beef. The Korean protesters are angry at the new president, Lee Myung Bak, for resuming the import of USA beef, which was banned since 2003 after an outbreak of BSE, or mad cow disease. This week, the entire cabinet resigned because of the controversy.

Tonight is the 20th anniversary of another important protest in 1987, so tonight's protest is expected to be the largest yet. The number of protesters marching the streets of downtown Seoul in candlelight vigil tonight is expected to be over a million people, with over 20,000 riot police standing by to step in if things get out of hand. So far the protests have been very peaceful, with some violence between protesters and police. Hopefully, tonight will be uneventful...

Being Canadian, protesting is an almost foreign concept for me. Protests in Vancouver tend to dissolve into riots, usually revolving around the Canucks loosing or Guns 'n' Roses canceling a gig (re: 1994 Stanley Cup Final against the NY Rangers and 2002 G&R no-show at GM Place. Ugh!)

So protests are a new thing for me and I had to check it out. After work last Wednesday, I took the subway downtown to City Hall Station and, armed with my digital camera and my umbrella (protesting wet sucks!), I saw my first real protest...

Check back soon for my photographs and videos of the candlelight march through the streets of Seoul!

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