SEOUL, 31 May (UPI) -- South Korean protesters, who say they are angry at a decision to allow resumed U.S. beef imports into the country, staged a massive rally in Seoul Saturday.
Tens of thousands of protesters, denouncing a decision by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak to allow the American meat back into the local market starting next week, filled the city's streets, the BBC reported.
The new protests follow a series of demonstrations and candlelight vigils earlier this month denouncing the government's decision to remove almost all the quarantines on U.S. beef. Officials told the South Korean Yonhap news agency that the government's new set of health and hygiene standards for imported beef would be posted Tuesday.
The new deal between South Korea and beef importers liberalizes South Korean market access to foreign products and keep bans in place only for certain risky items, the news agency said.
One example of "Koreans and their Government" relationship. Protesters took the streets of Seoul – they did protests for good cause – and their government listened and made some adjustment/amendments/changes to the policies/regulations etc. They did protests on many issues -- environment / economic policies / corruption / international affairs / war / farmers/workers/trade union / anti-US etc.
They did street protests in big way big impact. I still remember, way back 1997 in Central Seoul, I was “trapped” in the real street protest (ooo firsttime in life man – it's no joke - no experience during that time – my first big protest! kat tempat orang pulak tu..). I walked quickly (read: ran...) to the hotel and looked anxiously from the top – eagle's view.
(penakut ko ni Din! …Bukan bukan, bukan takut cuma - i didn't want to participate.)
The authority “allowed” street protests for the people to register/show dissatisfaction/frustration/support etc on major issues concerning the people/nation. I was not sure on the safety/security of the people at large during the protests but my point here is that -- the Government listened and subsequently, took drastic corrective measures.
Dan seperti biasa, saya sempat coretkan sajak berkenaan peristiwa pertama itu.
TUNJUKKANLAH PERASAAN YANG TERPENDAM
Dari kemuncak hotel bertaraf antarabangsa ini
Di tengah bandaraya Seoul
Dengan padat penduduk 10 juta
Pelbagai aktiviti, ragam dan pelbagai perangai
Dan dari kemuncak ini
Pendemo-pendemo ketidakpuasan ekonomi berarak
Memekik, menjerit dan meluahkan perasaan kepada negara
Yang diperalat dan dipermainkan oleh kuasa besar
Ketakutan jiwa kerdil ku ini, hendak ke mana?
Subway tidak mungkin ku naiki
Takut tergendala atau diletup
Tidak ku jejak pulang kaki ke tanah tumpah darah nanti
Duduklah aku di kemuncak dengan kaki yang menggeletar
-tajmosa @ Seoul, Oktober 1997 -