Arrests, jailings, injuries and other repression on Jeju Island as resistance to the naval base under construction continues

Facebook postings from Sung-Hee Choi and Paco Booyah, May 3-13 – more information at

[May 3] “Policemen, if you move this altar, 1 billion Catholic followers all over the world will watch over you.” The young Father from Jeju finished ALL the orders of the Catholic mass despite the repeated remarks by Koo Seul-Hwan, security director, who was embarrassed but continued to threaten him that it is an obstruction of business.

Kim Mi-Lyang, a woman villager, held up a sign that reads, “Return back the Gureombi Rock to Kim Mi-Lyang, daughter of Gangjeong!” After the  mass, we could observe an elderly follower teared and hugged Fr. Mun Jeong-Hyeon. There were lots of woman followers. It was really moving that they danced the Gangjoeng Addictive dance together with the Peacekeepers in Gangjeong.

We so thank you, Fathers. The village is resurrecting again and again as a sacred land, thanks to your devotion.

[May 4] Is it because of Fathers’ strong protests including the setting of altar on May 3? On Saturday, May 4, trucks did not pass by the main gate during the 11 am mass. It could be for a short time. But Fathers’ struggle is very appreciated. Fathers, Brothers, Sisters and Catholic followers prayed and meditated during the mass. The big brother, Samsung is looking over the field in the form of a big monitor. The police with ‘red hats,’ with the background of fence where people left resistance slogans are decorations of the world where people’s aspiration for peace and democracy is urgent.

[May 4] Update on the Conscientious Prisoners

Please write letters to:

Jeju Prison, 161 Ora 2-dong, Jeju City, Jeju, Korea

Yang Yoon-Mo (Prisoner No. 301)
Arrested on Feb. 1, 2013. Directly arrested from the court with actual 18 months’ prison sentence.
98th day as of May 5.

Kim Young-Jae (Prisoner No. 435)
Peace keeper in Gangjeong. Arrested on April 12, 2013.
24th day as of May 5.

Lee Jong-Hwa (Prisoner No. 125)
Peace keeper in Gangjeong. Poet, writer, arrested on April 28, 2013.
8th day as of May 5.

[May 7 Breaking news] Park Suk-Jin’s bail was cancelled. He was directly arrest from the court and re-imprisoned today.

Park Suk-Jin who has been released on Dec. 12, 2012 after 98 days in prison was re-imprisoned today as the court judged that he violated the condition of his bail, which was that he traveled Gangjeong five days without trip permission.

[May 7] After Fathers are carried off in the gates, trucks loaded with sands and stones are carried into destruction area. Some people’s kayaks try to monitor them. But ROK coast guards follow them soon.

[May 6-7] Fr. Lee Kang-Seo is infuriated to say in the mass that the police have demanded Fathers a deal that the police would not allow construction vehicles in the main destruction gate but Fathers should not make sit-in in front of the naval base project building committee during daily mass. Of course, Fathers do not accept it. Here is one of the videos by Pang Eun-Mi. In the video, Koo Seul-Hwan, Security Director demands Fathers and Catholic followers that they should move off while there is no construction truck passing by. Ms. Panf protests him saying whether he looks at apparitions of vehicles. We should watch media and field whether they harm Fathers in various ways. The Fathers are now saving us all by being in front while oppression becomes more serious.

[May 10] A candle vigil for the prisoners:

Yang Yoon-Mo (No. 301, hits 100th day as of May 11)
Kim Young-Jae (No. 435, hits 30th day as of May 11
Lee Jong-Hwa, (No. 125, hits 15th day as of May 12)
Park Suk-Jin (No. 199, hits 5th day as of May 11)

8 pm, May 10 (Fri) Gangjeong Village
2 pm, May 11 (Sat) group visit to the Jeju Prison, 16 Ora-2 dong, Jeju City, Jeju, Korea

[May 9] “Don’t touch Sister!” Video by Eunmi Pang

“There will be no winner or loser. Why? It is a nuclear war. The 3rd World War should not happen. It should not absolutely happen. That is the answer.” Before mass starts, Sisters and Fathers, Brothers are carried off by huge numbers of police. A voice of consciousness from the field..

[May 9] We have been informed that tomorrow, Friday, May 10th at 8 a.m. Korean Time, there will be an “administrative action” by the police to remove the sit-in tents and other things which are across the street from the naval base office gate of the construction site. We have been expecting this to happen for some time.

[later] This morning the siren rang around 7 am. At around 8 a.m. several hundred police were lined up and in position. Four people chained themselves to the main tent and the other activists.and villagers gathered around them. Then several hundred public worker thugs came. They began to tear down everything and throw everything away. There was a long struggle between villagers/activists and police/public workers. Finally four people were arrested, Mayor Kang, villager Uncle Jongwon, activist Jonghwa, and one more person. Then we held a press conference. Now we are waiting. soon the police and public workers will come put a garden or something in place of our tents. There will be one more stuggle today…

By my count today there are 25 police buses, 8 police arresting vans, 3 heavy duty police trucks, and countless other cars and small vehicles both marked and unmarked.

[May 10] History will remember

After villagers and activists were forcefully carried out from the tent, some media reporters recorded some important moment of history.

Mr. Kim Jong-Hwan, a villagers and cook, is tearing. He is one of the four people who have chained themselves in protest to demolish of people’s sit-in tent this morning

The second struggle against the public workers and police was shorter. The police came and set up a large area and encircled it. Then they carried each activist and villager one by one to the circle.

During this struggle villager Milyang was knocked over the side of a ledge and fell down into the Gangjeong stream. She is being treated in the hospital now.

After everyone was cleared away, trucks of dirt and rocks and trees were brought in. They are now building a fake garden on that spot. This one of the government’s recent strategies. Clear out the protestors and put a fake garden there. Oppressive Landscaping?

According to Milyang’s brother, Milyang’s midsection was cut but fortunately her internal organs were not cut. She is now getting lots of stitches to sew up her midsection.

Mayor Kang Dong Kyun, Chairman Go Gwon Il, Uncle Kim Jong Hwan and another activist chained themselves in a sit in tent to stop the great administrative execution to demolish people’s tents.

Mr. Kim Jong-Hwan, villager and cook. Photo by Han Hyung-Jin, Seogwipo Daily News

[May 10] How Mayor Kang was suddenly arrested? It is unreasonable and dumbfounding.

‘About 900 policemen.. about 150 Seogwipo City government officers and company thugs cracked down people and forcefully demolished people’s sit-in tents.

After violently pulling out Mayor Kang from the tent, the Seogwipo Police Station investigation director orders to his men, “Bring a vehicle (* patrol wagon),” and says suddenly “arrest him!”

Video and summary by Eunmi Pang

 [May 10] History will remember

After villagers and activists were forcefully carried out from the tent, some media reporters recorded some important moment of history.

Photo by Han Hyung-Jin, Seogwipo Daily News

Mayor Kang’s chained neck was hung as the tent was forcefully dragged back by the crack-down force of Seogwipo City government officers and policemen.

[May 10, URGENT] Mayor Kang Dong-Kyun currently detained in the Dongbu Police station in the Jeju City stated to a visitor this afternoon that he would enter undefined term fast in protest to illegal and violent crack-down and arrest. More details will come as soon as possible. Voice to demand the release of all the arrested is URGENT!

Free Mayor Kang Dong-Kyun, Mr. Lee Jong-Hwa (from Daeku, differnt from Mr. Lee Jong-Hwa from Jeonjoo, currently in prison) and Mr. Koh Gwang-Sung!

Gangjeong Mayor Kang, Gangjeong villager and cook Uncle Jonghwan, and Gangjeong villager and anti-base resistance committee leader Goh Gwon-Il, this morning, chained in the tent waiting for the police to come. Later, Mayor Kang, Uncle Jonghwan, along with activist Lee Jong-Hwa and Seogwipo city activist Goh Kang-Seok were arrested.

[May 10] Mayor Kang Dong-Kyun’s oral statement on his protest fast after unjust and violent arrest

‘The villagers have the rights to monitor illegal construction (destruction) of their village. I enter undefined fast from now on from the fury on the oppression on villagers by an unable governor who is not able to even control on illegal construction (destruction), and environment contamination.’

[May 10] Daughter of Gangjeong appeals to the Seogwipo City mayor, “Given my sacrifice, please make free all the arrested!”

It was almost 2nd Yongsan tragedy.. A villager, a woman, Kim Mi Lyang was almost to die when she fell down from 7m height wall. Even though people had continued to warn police that it is a dangerous space, it was clear in the video that a policeman pushed her who was sitting on the bridge railing with his elbow…

She was very fortunate to be alive though she got operation in her belly.. To the Seogwipo City mayor who visited her in the eveing of the day, her words to him was calm and full of sadness. The mayor was the one who directed the crack-down of people’s sit-in tents on the day.

“We are the same Jeju people. You should not oppress same local people. Why don’t you preciously hold Jeju ‘Goindand culture’? (Goindang roughly means all are the same family and relative in the Jeju) The base now being constructed is the US navy base. How can you take responsibility for all the results after this beautiful village community is destroyed by the US base? Given my sacrifice, please release all the arrested today.”

The Seogwipo City mayor who was ‘sat’ by the Island Governor Woo could not speak anything. After all, he is the servant of the governor, as the governor is the servant of Park Geun-Hye government and as the Park Geun-Hye government is the servant of U.S. oligarchies including arms corporations.

[May 10] A candle vigil for the release of peace prisoners and Bishop Kang U-Il’s letter to Yang Yoon-Mo

May 10 that welcomed three times sirens and full of events was like a year in Gangjeong. However, a quiet and beautiful candle vigil was held facing the destruction site that evening. Because of my short mobile phone battery on the day, I could not include many scenes here. But Bishop Kang U-Il’s recent beautiful letter(April 17) to Yang Yoon-Mo in prison was read. Yang Yoon-Mo has recently mailed Bishop Kang’s letter to us to share it with the public.  Excerpts from International solidarity messages and letters to the prisoners were also read.

Free Yang Yoon-Mo, Kim Young-Jae, Lee Jong-Hwa, Park Suk-Jin!!

As of May 11
Yang Yoon-Mo (No. 301) hit 100th day in prison
Kim Young-Jae (No. 435) hit 30th day in prison
Lee Jong-Hwa (No. 125, poet from Jeonjoo) hit 14th day in prison
Park Suk-Jin (No. 199) hit 5th day in prison

Please write encouragement letters to Jeju prison, 161 Ora 2dong, Jeju City, Jeju Island, Korea

Immediately release Kang Dong-Kyun, Lee Jong-Hwa (from Daeku)

Villager Kim Jong-Hwan was released around 1 pm, May 1. Due to intense stress during his chain protest and violent crack-down, he fell down from a chair during the police investigation. The police carried him to hospital and he got medicine. The police though were to carry him to the Dongbu Police station in the Jeju City. But they changed their mind and eventually released him.

Mr. Koh Gwang-Sung, an activist of Jeju, who was arrested when he protected Mayor Kang was also released around 3 pm, May 11.

However, Mayor Kang Dong-Kyun and Mr. Lee Jong-Hwa are still in the Dongbu Police station of Jeju City. More details come later.


Photo by Jeon Dae-Hyub, Custody room of the Dongbu Police station, Jeju, May 11

[May 12 URGENT] Prosecutor’s arrest warrants were issued to Mayor Kang Dong-Kyun and Lee Jong-Hwa. The court decision is at 11 am, today..please pray for their release!

Photo by Jeon Dae-Hyub, Custody room of the Dongbu Police station, Jeju, May 11

Update (around 4:20pm) A happy news! The court dismissed the police’s arrest warrant against the two. The two will be released and will come back to the village! Thanks so much for all your prayer and solidarity!

[May 13] Jang Sung-Shim, tells the pain of Jeju in her own body…arrest, self-injury, and fast

According to Jeju media, the Seogwipo Police station stated that “[around 9:40 am, May 13], the police arrested J[ang Sungshim] as a criminal taken in act of crime to obstruct business by the way of blocking vehicles and taking sit-ins. She disturbed the situation with her self-injury while she was waiting for investigation after being carried to the Seogwipo Police Station right after her arrest.”

I have somehow thought that Jang Sungshim, the Jeju native woman in her early 40s has amazingly reflected the painful history of Jeju as it is. As her name Sung (which means ‘sincerity’) –Shim (which means ‘heart’) somewhat implies.

In fact the crisis of her body has already been predicted in the crisis of bodies of Mayor Kang Dong-Kyun, Mr. Kim Jong-Hwan, and Ms. Kim Mi-Lyang on May 10. The bodies of the Jeju Island people surprisingly reflect the pain and wound of the history of Jeju. The crisis of body more oppressed by oppressors, not to mention their apology to it.. If we so surprise by the self-injury of Sungshim, we may not sufficiently feel sympathy for the pain of them, yet.

The police carried her to the Dongbu Police Station of Jeju City right after she was medically cured in a hospital of Seogwipo City, which is inhuman.

The below is her oral statement dictated and summarized by a Jeju activist in the Dongbu Police station.

“I went to the field earlier than Catholic mass in the morning today. When I climbed up to a truck passing into the destruction field, Koo Seul-Hwan, police security director ordered his policewomen to arrest me. I was protesting to injustice done to Kim Mi-Lyang. The police used to say that they can arrest people under the charge of obstruction of business. But I think police stationing here itself is illegal. The other time when I hurt my legs, they encircled me while I was praying. When I rolled toward a center of a road for the fury that they interrupted my prayer, the police were just looking at it silently then arrested me under the charge of violation on the law on road when I approached the center line.

No matter how I speak truth, my words are not received by them. Therefore I cannot but speak with my body. Why don’t the police make a word of apology while they pushed and made her fall down? Demanding their apology to her, I will continue to fast in protest.

I need a bible, note and pen.”