16 August 2011
KOREA: Update on Jeju Island situation, request for prayers by The Frontiers
[Note: CPT has a fraternal relationship with the Korean peace organization, The Frontiers. Suha Oh from The Frontiers produced the ten minute video about CPT available on the website and The Frontiers associates Paco Michelson and Hee Eun Park have gone through CPT training. On 26 July, CPT responded to a request by The Frontiers to publicize the situation on Jeju Island, where people are resisting the construction of a U.S. /South Korean naval base. Park and Michelson have written the below update. More information about the situation on Jeju Island is available here.]
14 August 2011
I just wanted to update you shortly on the situation here in Jeju. We arrived two days ago and have met many amazing, brave, and vibrant people. Gangjeong is also filled with posters, signs, paints, sculpture, and art protesting the naval base. There is a true community of peace here in the midst of this terrible conflict.
However, things are about to get bad soon. Six hundred to seven hundred new riot police officers have arrived from Seoul. This puts the total at as many as 1,600 riot police. Most of them are not here now, but they are a twenty-minute drive away, probably preparing for their action. They have brought with them three water cannon vehicles and other riot dispersal equipment.
We've heard rumors that "they" want to end our protesting by this week. That means sometime very soon they will take major action against us, to remove us from the land. We do not know when exactly they will strike.
Tomorrow, August 15, is a public holiday in Korea, celebrating [its] liberation from Japan. Because of this, we do not expect them to do it then. However, we have begun preparing tonight to be ready whenever they do strike. Perhaps it will be Tuesday, or maybe Wednesday. One thousand Catholics will come here for a mass on Thursday, so it is doubtful that they will wait until then. We guess that they also have to prepare more before coming.
The people here are incredible, but they have been through a lot and are very tired. But they will continue on because they know that truth is on their side. For now we wait for the sirens, prepare ourselves, and pray. Please spread the word about this and pray for us. This could be very serious.
I will try to update you more as the situation goes on.
Paco and Hee Eun