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PSPD    People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

  • Peace/Disarmament
  • 2011.09.30
  • 3117

 

 

Solidarity to save Jeju

Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Korean artist Koh Gill-chun, activist advocating for Gangjeong Village residents in Jeju’s Seogwipo against the government’s plans to build a naval base, hold signboards reading “Repeal the Naval Base Plans!” and “Protect Gangjeong!” at Chomsky’s office at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Sept. 16.

They discussed the naval base resistance and strategies for the road ahead for the Save Jeju Island campaign. Chomsky reaffirmed his complete support for the villagers, watched videos of their efforts and read a letter from the imprisoned Gangjeong Village Mayor Kang Dong-kyun. Chomsky says he has been deeply saddened by the news of Kang’s arrest and greatly admires his courage.

(Courtesy of Koh Gill-chun, Story by Matthew Hoey) 

http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_entertainment/496997.html

 

 

 

A letter from imprisoned village representative Kang Dongkyun to Noam Chomsky

 

 

Dear Mr. Noam Chomsky!

 

How are you?

I am Kang Dongkyun, the Gangjeong village representative, from Jeju Island where the people have been suffering and fighting for 4 years and 4 months against an unjust construction of a naval base.

 

The decision making process was unjust because the vast majority of the villagers opposed the construction of a naval base. And geographically Gangjeong village is not an appropriate location for a naval base. Despite these problems, the South Korean government and the Ministry of Defence have been pushing forward the project while ignoring its people's will, which created all sorts of conflicts not only within the community but in the whole island. Neighbors are turning their backs on one another, and human relations used to be close but now it's all broken.

 

At this point, Jeju Island is trying hard to be selected as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, based on the 3 titles that Jeju Volcanic Island and Gangjeong village have won from the UNESCO; UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, UNESCO World Natural Heritage, and UNESCO Global Geoparks.

 

Our Gangjeong village is proud to meet the qualifications of the 3 UNESCO titles. I think that it is meaningless for the Jeju Island to try to be entitled as one of the new 7 wonders of nature if a naval base comes to Gangjeong village.

 

Jeju Island has two paths to take. One is a militarised Jeju Island that will increase tensions in the region. The other is a peaceful island where the breath-taking beauty of nature is well-preserved so all the peace-loving people from the world come to appreciate the environment.

 

Which one should be the right choice in terms of national interests and South Korea's status in the world community?  


Dear Mr. Noam Chomsky!

I have read your writings and support messages. Thank you for helping us. I can't agree with you more when you say that a rule by force and violence will fall by the same force. The history proves that.


Dear Mr. Noam Chomsky!

We are trying everything we can to keep this small village on Jeju Island. We know and firmly believe that keeping the life and peace of the village ensures the peace on the island, in the country and the whole world.

We will never be shaken or surrender to any unjust state power. Peace maintained by force will be fallen by another big force.


Dear Mr. Noam Chomsky!

What we want is a small peace where people live their lives by helping and taking care of each other. We wish to make a true world where beautiful stories can be written by the people.

 

Please help us out and please let us keep the hope.


Thank you very much.

Sep 6, 2011

On behalf of the Gangjeong villagers

Kang Dongkyun

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