| KGEU Breaking News #3 6th November 2004|
ALERT: Police Hunt for KGEU and Its Members!
In all levels and all regions of the country, bitter suppression of KGEU by the government and the police has been overwhelming.
The KGEU has been planning to hold its branches' simultaneous rallies nationwide for full guarantee of government employees' basic labour rights and withdrawal of government's special bill on 'public officials' trade unions act' with the KCTU and other organisations today. And around these days the KGEU branches and chapters are carrying out votes for absentees regarding KGEU's industrial ballots that are expected to be on 9th-10th of November.
However, the government and police have been throwing swords into the scale.
Around 10;00 this morning, 4 members of the Gokseong-gun(county) Chapter of the KGEU Jeonnam Regional Branch(province(do)-based) who had encouraged the vote were arrested. The county authority informed the police of their organising absentees' votes. The police arrested them and took the ballot box which there were 40 members' voting papers in. The arrestees were Mr. JOH Myeong-Ik, Chapter's director of planning, Mr. KIM Hee-Cheon, Chapter's assistant director of policy, Mr. HWANG Hee-Tae, Chapter's director of policy, and Ms. PARK In-Jah, Chapter's director of external relations.
Around 11:00, a member of the Seoguipo-si(city) Chapter of the KGEU Jeju Regional Branch were asked to be accompanied with detectives for investigation on absentees' votes. The detectives warned that, otherwise, he would be arrested. Mr. KIM Jin-Seoung was released about 4 hours later. And 2 more members were arrested as well while trying to join the rally and released after hours later.
In Seoul, the police openly stated that all the government employees would be arrested who were trying to participate in a rally that was expected to be held on 15:00. Three members of the KGEU Seoul Metropolitan Branch were arrested while trying to get into the rally venue. They were Mr. YOON Yong-Ho, Chairperson of the Gwanak-ku(district) Chapter, Mr. KIM Joo-Hwan, director general of the chapter, and Mr. JEH CHang-Rok, Chairperson of the Seongbuk-ku Chapter. Ahead of this the riot cops blockaded a district office in Incheon and looked into government employees who seemed to join the rally around a subway station close to the district office in cooperation with the district high ranking officials. In Gyeongi-do(province), the detectives have closely followed union leaders of the branch openly saying that they would immediately be arrested with any move to join the rally. And a KGEU Gyeongi Regional Branch memeber, Mr. YOO Je-Il was arrested as well around the rally venue.
In Gangwon-do, the riot cops that had broken into a university, where was initially supposed to be held, blockading the student union building and looking into government employees. The members of the KGEU Gangwon Regional Branch moved into another place to hold the rally but the riot cops swept down on them again and violently dispersed KGEU members arresting some of them. Those arrested were Mr. KIM Cheol-Gi and Mr. PARK In-Cheol from Wonju-si Chapter, Mr. HUH Pil-Yong from Chuncheon-si Chapter, and Mr. GAHNG Gi-Mahn from Samcheok-si Chapter. Ahead of this the police had forced to stop KGEU Chapters' buses that were departing for the rally all over the Gangwon region.
In Daegu, the authority said that the police would execute a seizure and search warrant against the regional branch office.
In Ulsan also the riot cops blockaded the rally venue and looked into government employees. 3 members were arrested while trying to enter the venue. Those were Mr. KIM Sang-Hwan from Chapter of waterworks facilities, Mr. LEE Tae-Ha and GWON Myeong-Ho from Nam-gu Chapter. And even when the rally was declared to close, the riot cops still questioned all the participants who were dispersing and tried to arrest government employees. Mr. LEE Jae-Hak, Chairperson of Ulju-gun Chapter and Mr. LEE Jun-Ho from Nam-gu Chapter were arrested as well while going home after the rally.
In Gyeongnam-do, one hour before the rally the riot cops broke into the venue and seized all the stuff related to KGEU including its flags and banners. The police here as well had forced to stop KGEU Chapters' buses that were departing for the rally all over the Gyeongnam region and even arbitrarily detained government employees who seemed to join the rally within a city hall for hours. In the morning Mr. NOH Gi-Hwan, Chairperson of Hamyang-gun Chapter was arrested for encouraging collective activities. In Milyang-si, 8 members were arrested on the way to the rally. They were released 4 hours later. In addition, 4 members of the KCTU and DLP were also arrested with indiscriminated questioning while they were trying to join the rally. The KGEU Gyeongnam Branch and the regional KCTU council proceeded the rally in spite of the police blockading, but while the rally being held the riot cops broke into the rally and violently dispersed the participants, during which tens of the KCTU and the DLP members were arrested and injured.
In Jeonnam, 78 members of Haenam-gun Chapter of the KGEU Jeonnam Regional Branch who had departed for the rally with buses, but shortly after then the buses were forced to stop and all of them were arrested. When KGEU members called on the police to confirm whether they were taken as criminals in an act of crime or not, the police just answered "if you have problems with this, appeal the laws". 20 of them were released after hours of investigation, but 58 members have still been under investigation.
In Jeonbuk, the riot cops blockaded the rally. The KGEU members and the KCTU had to hold the rally respectively separated by the police blockade between them.
Overall, all the rallies nationwide for full guarantee of government employees' basic labour rights and withdrawal of government's special bill on 'public officials' trade unions act' by the KGEU and the KCTU etc had been blockaded by the riot cops. They indiscriminately questioned all those who tried to join the rallies and looked into government employees. They even illegally detained government employees who they thought were expected to join 'illegal collective activities', and forced to stop KGEU members' vehicles supposedly departing for the rallies all over the country. The KGEU branches had to move to another place to hold rallies, but the riot cops broke into these as well and tried to violently disperse them. So far 107 KGEU members have been arrested and 76 of them are still under detention as of 20:30 on 6th, November.
Nov. 9th-10th KGEU's Industrial Ballots
Nov. 11th KGEU Central Committee
Nov. 11th-12th Work-to-Rule in All KGEU Branches and Chapters
Nov. 12th Press Conference on Launching a General Strike
Nov. 13th People's Rally
Nov. 14th Annual National Workers' Rally in Seoul
Nov. 15th KGEU General Strike