|To-do list from Nodutdol for Korean Community Development.
For years, the Gangjeong villagers have been peacefully struggling against the destruction of Jeju island, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites, a rare ecosystem of profound beauty – and the source of their livelihoods as farmers, fishermen and divers. They have been lying in the road to stop construction vehicles, protesting peacefully and pressing their local and national legislators – and being arrested continually and fined horrendous amounts. The South Korean government claims the base would be a protection against North Korea, but the island is in the southernmost waters of South Korea, far from the North.
On March 5th, about 500 policemen from the mainland were brought to this tiny village by ship including 4 police squadron units and 1 unit of policewomen. As already about 200 policemen in 2 squadrons from the main land were mobilized previously, the total number of the mainland police now in the village to suppress protesters has been raised to about 700.
The South Korean government is pressing to rush this construction before the South Korean elections (general elections this April and presidential ones in December) as there is a growing movement nationally and internationally to stop this unnecessary base construction, this island destruction and the needless ramping up of militarization in the region.
We call on our allies to:
Call the Korean Embassy in your state and let them know that Jeju does not want a naval base! The militarization of Jeju Island runs contrary to its designation as the “Island of World Peace.”
1. If you live in the United States: Call the South Korean Embassy in Washington at 202-939-5600 to show your solidarity with the Gangjeong villagers on Jeju Island.
2. Write the South Korean Defense Attaché at firstname.lastname@example.org and demand a halt to construction of the naval base. Explain how a base that is directed at China is the beginning of a dangerous game that does not protect the future of South Korea – it undermines it.
3. Send a message to South Korean Ambassador to the U.S. Han Duk Soo letting him know how building a navy base on Jeju will undermine tourism, threaten the fragile island environment and contribute to the destabilization of an already stressed security climate.
4. Email Jeju Island Governor Woo Keun Min and tell him how you feel about the military base that is being built on the pristine “Island of World Peace” – Demand a Gangejong village referendum so the residents voices can be heard email@example.com nine out of ten residents do not want this base.
5. Stay updated on the resistance by joining the ”Save Jeju Island” and the “No Naval Base on Jeju!” Facebook pages. Follow the most recent developments on Twitter at #savejejuisland and #gangjung – then re-post.
6. Spread the word about the inspiring resistance in Jeju! Contact the media about this story to raise their awareness about the struggle. Urge them to cover this important story of peace and environmental defense.
7. Sign the petition urging South Korean President Lee to stop construction of the military base! After signing please share the petition with your social network.
8. Send a message to the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) and tell them that the relics discovered on the naval base site should result in an immediate halt to construction.
9. Email or telephone Democratic members of the Korean National Assembly and tell them that they must stand publicly to demand that Gangjeong villagers are allowed to vote in a new referendum for or against the naval base. Click here for contact information
10. Email Amnesty International’s South East Asia chief and tell him that too many people have been imprisoned and injured in this nonviolent resistance against an illegal military base. Amnesty International’s investigation on human rights violation in Jeju is necessary and will help the situation. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org