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PSPD    People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

  • Civil-Political
  • 2010.09.27
  • 3141

The Seoul Square, finally returned to the citizens

The president of Seoul Metropolitan Council, Heo Gwang-Tae proclaimed today(27 September) 'The Partially Revised Ordinance Bill on Uses and Management of the Seoul Square'. This ordinance bill mainly contains an expansion of a purpose and a report system of using, which was revoted by the Seoul Metropolitan Council and proclaimed by the president with delegated power based on local government act since the mayor of Seoul refused to do. The revised ordinance on the Seoul Square shall come into effect from today. We sincerely welcome the Seoul Square's return to the citizen.

The amended ordinance proclaimed is based on the Citizens' petitionl to amend the Seoul Square Ordinance, which suggested by one hundred thousand Seoul citizens who opposed to the government and the Seoul Metropolitan Council administering and utilizing it arbitrarily and partially.

The amended ordinance includes the contents of widening the range of use of the Seoul Square to rallies and changing procedures from an existing approval system to a reporting system. It also contains details of strengthening the power of the Seoul Metropolitan Council and the Square Operating Citizens Committee to restrict the Seoul city and mayor's arbitrary managing of the Square.

The Seoul Square Ordinance Revision Movement 2009-2010 has progressed as followed:

We couldn't even hold a memorial ceremony of the former president. The operating the Seoul Square had been influenced by a political decision of the mayor of Seoul in substance and by the Seoul Square ordinance formally. 1% of Seoul citizens'(80,958 people at that time) handwritten signatures were needed to revise the ordinance. This ordinance, in fact, was a subordinate law against the fundamental rights of freedom of assembly and association guaranteed in the Constitution, the highest law, and it had always been criticized by lawyers and jurists. PSPD's activists got the citizens' signatures one by one in the metro for the first time since PSPD was established. However, its effort was not enough. 50 thousands of signatures lacked one month before the due date to submit a petition.

And then, suddenly, citizens' signatures were gathered. 102,741 claimants' signatures were submitted to Seoul city 29 December, yet the Seoul Metropolitan Council ignored the 102,741 citizens' petition on amending the Seoul Square ordinance. It has been automatically discarded by the Seoul Metropolitan Council led by the ruling party refusing to handle ahead of the local election. After that, the Seoul Metropolitan Council was reorganized through the local election held 2 June 2010, and the new Seoul Metropolitan Council passed the Seoul Square ordinance on 13 August.


2009

23 May  The police blocked the Seoul Square up with the police buses.
03 June  PSPD's regular employees launched one-man protest for opening the square next to the bus barriers surrounding the Seoul Square
10 June  Submitted the petition for amending the Seoul Square ordinance to Seoul city, beginning <The Seoul Square to citizens> campaign in earnest
26 June  Received mandatories primarily
14 July  Opened a presentation for the 1st mandatories
16 July  Held a forum on amending the Seoul Square ordinance based on democracy and the Constitution
20 July  Filed a constitutional appeal and a law suit for damages about disapproving using the Seoul Square and blocking with buses 
29 July Started series of articles <Open the Square> co-designed by Ohmynews and the Institution for Participatory Society
21~23 August  About 7,000 claimants were registered at an incense altar of the former president Kim Dae Jung
10 September  About 28,000 claimants were registered 100 days before the due date
08 December  Over 60,000  claimants were accomplished   
19 December  On the last day of registering claimants, the signature movement was finished with a provisional sum of 90,000 claimants
29 December  Submitted the report on the Seoul Square Ordinance Amendment Movement and a list of 102,741 claimants to Seoul city

2010

25 January
 Seoul city judged that a legal requirement was fulfilled after examining the petition of the Seoul Square ordinance amendment
26 February  Sent to the Administration Committee in Seoul Metropolitan Council an official document for requesting to progress discussions and vote on the amendment in that session
25 March  9 committee members of the Administration Committee decided to defer bringing it up for a discussion to the plenary session
29 March  Held a press conference to censure the Administration Committee in Seoul Metropolitan Council's avoiding reviewing ordinance and insist their presenting it to plenary session and voting for
30 March  Talked with the acting chairperson of the Administration Committee(member of the Seoul Metropolitan Council, Kim Young-Ro from the Grand Nation Party), demanded to present it to plenary session, The Administration Committee was held, yet the bill was not discussed
01 April  Demonstrated simultaneous one-man protests demanding to reopen for judging the Seoul Square ordinance amendment and vote on it on the last day of 221st ad hoc meeting of the Seoul Metropolitan Council, they didn't handle it in the session in the end
27 May  Disclosed a list of 6 candidates of the mayor of Seoul, the district leaders and the members of Seoul Metropolitan Council who ignored the amendment of the ordinance, conducted a campaign to defeat them
24 June  The Seoul Metropolitan Council Administration Committee discarded the citizens' petition of the Seoul Square ordinance amendment      
14 July  Proposed a amended ordinance <The ordinance on uses and management of the open square in Seoul city> to the Seoul Metropolitan Council
09 August  Submitted <The ordinance on uses and management of the open square in Seoul city> to the Seoul Metropolitan Council with a proposal by all 79 members from Democratic party in Seoul Metropolitan Council
11 August  The Seoul Square ordinance amendment bill was passed in the Seoul Metropolitan Council administration committee
13 August  The Seoul Square ordinance amendment bill was passed in the plenary session of the Seoul Metropolitan Council
06 September  The mayor of Seoul, Oh Se-Hoon rejected the passed bill and requested reconsideration to the Seoul Metropolitan Council
10 September  The Seoul Square ordinance amendment bill was passed through reconsideration of the Seoul Metropolitan Council
19 September  The mayor of Seoul, Oh Se-Hoon refused to proclaim the reconsidered Seoul Square ordinance amendment bill
27 September  The chairperson of the Seoul Metropolitan Council, Heo Kwang-Tae proclaimed 'The Partially Amended Ordinance Bill on Uses and Management of the Seoul Square'
        

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