PSPD in English Newsletter 2022-10-31  

PSPD English Newsletter, October 2022

This Month at PSPD

PSPD’s 28th Anniversary Ceremony “Decision to Participate, Decision to be in Solidarity”


Founded in 1994, PSPD turns 28 this year. On 6 September, PSPD held its 29th-anniversary ceremony at Seoul Women’s Plaza, the first in three years to celebrate PSPD’s anniversary in person. We were grateful to meet and greet our members and citizens.

The most difficult thing in preparing for the anniversary ceremony was the slogan. In a time when even small incremental steps made on reform policies are being pushed back under the new administration, participation and solidarity have never been as important as now. As such, we decided on “Decision to Participate, Decision to be in Solidarity” as our slogan and shouted it throughout the event. We also watched clips by members, executives, and fellow civil rights organizations, conveying messages of celebration.

PSPD is determined to stop the Yoon administration’s reversal of reforms and to uplift the livelihood of those left in the blind spot of poverty, the socially vulnerable, and small business owners who suffer from unfair practices. We are determined to publish and work on the implementation of a comprehensive plan for the reformation of the criminal justice system, the reformation of the prosecution service and the police force, and the full implementation of the Corruption Investigations Unit. Further, we will put our efforts into welcoming many more people to join the declaration of peace for the Korean peninsula and will continue to focus on military oversight and disarmament programs.

Back on the Streets after 3 Years! 924 Climate Justice March

As we inaugurated 3 years ago, we held a large-scale march near Hyehwa station. Through efforts by Greta Thunberg and climate strikes organized by the youth in 2019, the world recognized that the climate crisis was a pressing issue for humanity, and the people of our country also participated in ‘the emergency action.’

Since the Commission on Carbon Neutrality and Green Growth has been formed, President Moon announced his Green New Deal, and the Carbon Neutrality Act was enacted. However, as the 10th largest emitter of greenhouse gas in the world, South Korea continues to be dubbed a ‘climate villain,’ and a ‘just transformation’ looks far from reality. Amidst all this, facing us are climate disasters.

On 24 September, large crowds of citizens were seen around Seoul City Hall and Gwanghwamun for the first time in three years. They shouted slogans such as “we cannot continue living like this,” demanding climate justice. Since last June, PSPD has been involved in the preparation of ‘924 Climate Justice March.’ PSPD, which has traditionally focused on social and economic inequality, has decided to lend its support to the cause to stress how the climate crisis, when it combines with various inequalities in our society, can be disastrous to our citizens.

Participants of the ‘924 Climate Justice March’ visited booths and open mic stages before the actual event. PSPD hosted a booth under the theme ‘Militarism and Climate Crisis and highlighted how war and arms race can intensify the climate crisis. This was followed by talks by those at the forefront of the climate crisis, rallies, a march, a die-in protest, and a cultural festival, as we shouted and pledged the declaration for climate justice as one.

We declare the following for climate justice

  • End fossil fuel and life-destroying systems. Economic growth and the preservation of the system via fossil fuel is no longer possible. Civil engineering which promotes ecological destruction and the cycle of mass production·distribution·consumption·disposal must stop.
  • End all forms of inequality. Inequality which puts the needy in disaster created by the wealthy is what today’s climate crisis is. Without overcoming social inequality, we cannot fully implement climate justice.
  • Voices of the frontline communities need to be amplified. Those who have caused the climate crisis, are taking advantage of it as a profit-making opportunity, and are deceiving the public must be stopped. Frontline communities which first face the climate crisis should be the principal agents of climate justice.

The Peace Campaign to End the Korean War wins the 24th Hankyoreh Unification Culture Awards

The Center for Peace and Disarmament attended the 11th World Council of Churches conference in Karlsruhe, Germany last August, to secure global cooperation in promoting the Peace Campaign to End the Korean War. We held a booth for the Korean peninsula peace declaration book signing and informed the international community of the situation in the Korean peninsula through meetings with Korean residents in Germany and forums. We have good news as well! The Peace Campaign to End the Korean War has won the 24th Hankyoreh Unification Culture Awards Special Award. We will continue to ensure that the campaign can support peace.

The City of Ulsan Must Not Close its Agency for Social Service

The city of Ulsan has announced plans to merge the Agency for Social Service with the Agency for Women and Family Development and create an agency for welfare and family promotion. If the merger continues as planned, this would be equivalent to closing the Agency for Social Service. While the Agency was introduced as a measure to improve local care service qualities, the Yoon administration continues to announce policies that go against protecting its public nature, and the city of Ulsan’s People Power party local government heads have started implementing such policies. PSPD and labor-civil society organizations strongly denounce the city of Ulsan for abandoning the basic right to care.

Habitat Right March Takes Place in Celebration of the 2022 World Habitat Day

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On the first Monday of October, every year is the UN-designated ‘World Habitat Day,’ enacted to promote interest in people living in poor habitats and to inform people that habitation is a basic right. As we have seen with the death of a family during last August’s record rainfall in Seoul, natural disasters follow social inequality and hit the socially disadvantaged the hardest. We demand the full guarantee of habitation rights and participated in “Inequality is the disaster, guarantee habitation rights now!” march on 1 October.

Translated by a PSPD Volunteer

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