Friday, September 29, 2006

South Korea: Solidarity needed! The crack down on the KGEU still continues today!

KGEU Breaking News 060927
September 27, 2006


Your solidarity is needed!

Today is the 4th day of the crack down on the KGEU local offices. 111 local offices were forcefully closed down nation wide. Every working day has seen the violent attacks on the union offices and the arrests of the union members since last Friday. The riot police and the specially hire thugs have raided the union office from dawn till midnight.

Many KGEU offices were violently broken into and closed down. Riot police and thugs armed with fire extinguishers, fire-fighting dust, hammers, claw hammers, hammer drills and power saws broke through the windows or even by making an opening in the wall to storm into union offices. KGEU members were forcefully pulled out of the union offices and arrested. The union offices the union offices were sealed off with iron plates or bars in many cases.

KGEU members struggle all around the country against inhumane and barbaric raids by local governments and riot police.

It was a war between a democratic and independent trade union and an authoritarian and barbaric government. It was a war between those who believe in freedom of association for all workers and those who believe that trade union rights could be subject to government rulings.

We need your solidarity now!

Please send your solidarity message to the KGEU! It will greatly encourage and empower our members in this critical moment. It will let our members know we are not alone.

Please send your protest letter to the Korean government! Let them know that the world is witnessing and that this brutal repression can not be accepted.

The addresses and contact points will be attached in the end of this news break.

Today's targets were the KGEU Chapters in Gyeonggi.

From 06:00, the riot police were deployed around the union office in Bucheon City in Gyeonggi-do(province). And the execution officials with the riot police began to try to break into the union office. Welding machines and hammers were used. At 07:00, the doors were removed. 25 union members were resisting the violent closure inside the office, to which they even chained themselves. But the riot police and the execution officials took over the office at 07:45 and the union members were pulled out. (Photos from struggles at Bucheon)

An attack on the KGEU Gyeonggi Gwacheon Chapter started from 10:20 with the riot police deployed. The riot police broke the walls with hammers to sweep into the union office. The union members inside were severely beaten up and arrested at 11:30. 18 members from KGEU and solidarity organisations were arrested and taken to the local police stations. 4 of those were seriously injured and hospitalised.

In Suwon, the riot police and the execution officials broke into the union office at 09:30. The doors and the whole walls were broken down. The union members were pulled out by the riot police and a woman member was just thrown away.

7 more KGEU chapters in Gyeonggi-do were forcefully closed down.

The KGEU Osan Chapter office was closed down at 11:30, Hwaseong Chapter at 15:40, Anyang Chapter and Goyang Chapter at 18:40, Pocheon Chapter at 19:00, Pyeongtaek chapter at 19:10 and Icheon Chapter was also shut off today. Besides Ansan Chapter was also warned that it would be closed down tomorrow.

The KGEU Jinju Chapter, the only case that defeated the attack on the union office is now facing forceful closure again. The riot police began to be deployed from 17:30 today. At 18:00 the municipality warned that they will implement the warrant of administrative execution for forceful closing down of the union office at 07:00 tomorrow morning. The riot police already deployed at the 7th floor where the union office is located. The aisle of the floor is filled with the riot police and they are blocking union members from walking around the union office. The unionists are substantially confined. If the unionists go out for toilet, they are not allowed to come back to the office. Hundreds of the unionists and the members from solidarity organisations are blocked at the lobby of the building. Now a protest rally is being held in front of the building and sit-in protests inside and outside the union office will be held overnight.

The addresses and contact points

KGEU (Korean Government Employees' Union)
7th F1. Daeyoung Bldg. 139 Youngdeungpo-2-ga. Youngdeungpo-gu
Seoul 150-982, Korea
Tel : +82-2-2631-1949 / Fax : +82-2-2631-1949
Email :

Contact points and addresses of the Korean Government

Mr. Roh Moo-Hyun
President of the Republic
1 Sejong-no, Jongno-gu
Seoul 110-820, Republic of Korea
Tel: +822 770-0018; Fax: + 82 2 770-03 47 or 770-0001 / + 82 2 770-25 79. E-mail:

Ms. Han Myeong-sook
Prime Minister
77-6 Sejongno, Jongno-gu
Seoul, Republic of Korea
Fax: + 82-2-720-35 71

Mr. Ban Ki-moon
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
91-5 Doryeom-dong, Jongno-gu
Seoul, Republic of Korea
Fax : 82-2-2100-7913

Mr. Kim Sung-ho
Minister of Justice
1 Jungang-dong, Gwacheon Government Complex
Gyeonggi Prov., Republic of Korea
Fax: + 82-2-504-5724 / +82-2-503-3337 / +82-2-503-3532

Mr. Lee Sang-soo
Minister of Labour
2 Jungang-dong, Gwacheon
Gyeonggi Prov. Republic of Korea
Fax : + 82-2-3679-6581

Mr. Lee Yong-sup
Minister of Government Administration and Home Affairs
77-6 Sejongno, Jongno-gu
Seoul, Republic of Korea
Fax : + 82-2-3703-5531

National Human Rights Commission of Korea
16 Euljiro 1-ga, Jung-gu
Seoul 100-842, Republic of Korea
Fax: +82 2 2 125 98 11 / 96 66

KIM Seok
C.P. : +82-(0)16-237-5940
Executive Director of International Relations
Korean Government Employees' Union
Tel: +82-2-2631-1948 Fax: +82-2-2631-1949
Web: (Kor) (Eng)

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

another great article on Oaxaca teachers

On ZNet: "Oaxaca's dangerous teachers"
"Education is a very noble field, which I love," Gutierrez says. "But today it means confronting the government. You have to be ready to fight for the people and their children, and not just in the classroom."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

a more enlightened social engineering

The Ministry of Education is finally, finally, going to write some of its more egregious nonsense out of primary school coursebooks, according to the Hankyoreh.

Some of the changes:

Family Planning Good
  Family Planning Bad
We are One Blood   We Might Have Chinese, Mongol and Japanese Blood Too But That's OK As Long As They Have the Right Name
The Elderly are Useless Eaters   Maybe Grandmother Helps Too

Father’s hard work as a breadwinner and mother’s supportive role to other family members, which enables them to concentrate on their work, are not only important for the well-being of the family but also that of the country.
  The Country Needs Mother to Work Too

But teachers shall remain "politically neutral" as they continue to teach kids how to be good citizens. Those who encourage kids to question what they read need not apply.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Saturday, September 02, 2006

new minister of education

Kim Shinil is the newest education minister. So I looked at a paper he published in Korea Journal, "Korean education: past and present" in 1987:
"social taming, indocrinating, instrumentalizing, anti-intellectualization and dehumanization processings are all being done under the name of education."

He discusses the "intrinsic value" of an education! The Chosun Ilbo will love this guy.

No, not really. The theme of any given Chosun editorial on education: Give us more pliant, semi-literate serfs! None of this liberal humanist nonsense for Korea!