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PSPD  l  People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

  • Civil-Political
  • 2000.07.31
  • 728

The CAGE Newsletter 3 :Now is the winter of discontent made,Glorious summer by this sun of the CAGE


Representative and Director of Executive Committee Summoned!

One of the representatives of the CAGE, Mr. Choi Yul and Director of Executive Committee, Mr. Park Won-soon were summoned to the Public Prosecutor"s Office on the 17th of February. The Office announced that they are summoned because they violated the Election Law by organizing mass rallies and illegal political campaigns. This incident explicitly illustrates that the authorities are going to oppress the activities of the CAGE in the near future.

Many regional branches of the CAGE were also prosecuted by the Election Office for 'violating' the Election Law. Some members will appear in the Public Prosecutor"s Office. The authorities announced that civil activists would be summoned and inquired how and why they organized so called 'illegal' political campaigns such as mass rallies and signature seeking campaigns. They added that punishment would be unavoidable if their activities were proved to be illegal.

However, the summon cannot stop the CAGE"s accelerated activities strongly supported by the people at all. The CAGE announced that it would do its best to keep the law, however, it would not avoid confronting authorities, if it is necessary for political reform. Even after the summon, the people"s support never decreases.

International Support Opposing the Summon Urgently Required!

We are urgently asking for international support to the CAGE. In particular, a statement of support under the name of your organization or representing body of your organization is urgently required since some members were summoned.

We would like to have a press conference with the statement from international civic groups as soon as possible. The press conference demonstrates that the CAGE"s activities for political reform in the general elections are internationally supported. In addition, international support will warn the Korean authorities that they would be responsible for any result of punishing the members of the CAGE, and of suppression of the activities of the CAGE.

Please make a supporting statement and immediately email it to the CAGE!

Your support would be greatly appreciated by the Korean people and helpful for the continuing activities of the CAGE!

Undesirable Amendment of Election Law

The CAGE has strongly demanded that the Election Law, which prohibits civic groups election campaign, should be changed. However, the amended Election Law does not represent the people"s wish at all. By contrast, it prohibits their activities for political reform in the general elections dexterously, even though it seems to allow civic groups" election campaign in appearance.

The law prohibits almost all the important forms of political campaign. For instance, a mass rally and a signature seeking campaign are illegal according to the law. Even the release of result of opinion poll by civic groups is banned. Election campaign through telephone and email is allowed.

The spokesman of the CAGE commented on the amendment, 'although the amendment is not desirable at all, we do our best to abide by the law. However, this does not mean that the CAGE will abide unconditionally by the law because the amendment restricts civic groups activities too much.' This implies that the civil disobedience towards political reform is available yet. But the CAGE is trying to avoid the unnecessary confrontation with authorities.

Successful Mass Rally throughout the Country

On the 30th of January, there were mass rallies throughout the country in coldness of the winter. In the rallies, yellow cards were distributed to the participating citizens, and the names of the listed politicians were called on the platform, the participants cheerfully responded waving the cards. One participant said in confidence, 'I am willing to give the listed politicians this card, if they are nominated as candidate by the parties. This time they must recognize the civil power and they cannot ignore people"s strong wish for political reform this time'. In the coldness of this winter, the rally in Seoul started with around 1,000 citizens, however, more and more citizens joined the rally after the commencement of the rally. It was held in the Square in front of Seoul Rail Station, and the participant marched to Myungdong Cathedral. When they arrived at the cathedral, the number reached about 3,000. This shows us that the CAGE is strongly supported by citizens, and their will to participate in the CAGE"s activities is very strong.

One policeman at the rally said frankly, 'I strongly support the CAGE from the bottom of my heart, but my job, as you know, is to watch the participants and guide them to the cathedral. However, please keep this in mind that I and my colleague are with you.' Then the participants responded to the policeman very cheerfully. The general atmosphere at the rallies in other cities was almost the same as this.

The CAGE is going to have mass rallies throughout the country regularly. Every Wednesday, there are street campaigns to rule out corrupted politicians during lunch time in major cities. The street campaign on the 16th was very successful. The citizens encouraged civic campaign and promised to participate in voting in order to rule out the listed politicians on the 13th of April. On the 19th a big mass rally will be held in major cities at the same time to banish the listed politicians and recover the people"s rights.

The Civil Action for 2000 General Election in Korea (the CAGE)
175-87 Anguk-Dong 2F Anguk Bldg Chongno-Ku Seoul,110-734 KOREA
Tel +82-2-732-0413 Fax -733-0413 e-mail: ngo0413@chollian.net, pspdint@pspd.org

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