11-14-2015, (11:40 PM)
Despite the freedom of assembly, South Korean protesters are being illegally blockaded and physically harmed by the state law enforcement.
The protesters assembled with the intention of raising their voice against the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPP) and the current government’s efforts to nationalize South Korea’s history textbook.
However, as the current South Korean President Park has done before, the state law enforcement illegally blockaded the protesters, preventing them from reaching the Blue House.
In the process, the state law enforcement fired capsaicin-loaded water cannons directly at the protesters. Due to the sheer force of water cannons, directly firing at human targets has been declared illegal by the South Korean Constitution.
Additional to illegally firing water cannons directly at human targets, the law enforcement continued to directly fire the water cannon at a 69 year-old man even after he went down. The fire continued at the man even as he was being transported into the ambulance.
It must be conceded that some protesters were actually violent against the state enforcement. Violent protests should not be allowed and ought to be neutralized as needed. Some protesters might have been led by different and possibly unjustified motives, using the larger protest as a facade.
However, it must be acknowledged that the majority of the protesters were non-violent and simply attempted to reach the Blue House.
Additionally, it must be emphasized that the law enforcement illegally blockaded the protesters even before things became violent. Why would the protest become violent if free passage was allowed in the first place?
This is a substantial not only because the law enforcement are using illegal methods to hamper the efforts of the South Korean protesters, but also because it symbolizes the lack of transparency in the South Korean government.
Given that South Korea is still being run by a democratic government, the voice of the people must be heard and taken into account by the government.
However, the current government’s efforts to nationalize the textbook and support other controversial policies seem to be wholly ignorant of the voice of the people, considering the fact that the majority of the nation, including scholars around the world, has been against the nationalization of South Korea’s history textbook.
Regardless of how the current government of South Korea is being portrayed to the international community due to misconceptions and media manipulations, the recent footsteps took by the South Korean government cannot be said to be of a truly democratic government.
As a college student, I have very limited knowledge of the crisis. However, I believe that if the illegal and irresponsible actions taken by the South Korean government are made aware to the international community, the South Korean government will have no choice but to respond.
The impact of media exposure today is more powerful than ever before, and to reiterate, if the world becomes to truly understand how serious and significant of a crisis this is, I believe that the South Korean people will have a another glimmer of hope.
Please feel free to spread the word or simply copy and paste all I’ve written so that South Korea might have a better future.