460 Park Avenue (between 58th and 59th St.)
New York City
5:30-7:00 pm, Monday, January 24, 2011
We are organizing this informational picket line to express solidarity with eight South Korean labor militants facing serious prison terms and due to be sentenced on Thursday, January 27.
On December 3, 2010, the prosecutor in the Seoul Central District Court demanded prison terms of five-seven years for Oh Sei-chull and other members (Yang Hyo-sik, Yang Joon-seok, Choi Young-ik, Park Joon-seon, Jeong Won-hyun, Oh Min-gyu, and Nam-goong Won) of the Socialist Workers’ Alliance of Korea (SWLK), a revolutionary socialist group. These activists in the Korean working-class movement were indicted under South Korea’s notorious National Security Law (passed in 1948 and theoretically still stipulating the death penalty for “pro-North” activities). The eight militants of the SWLK, who as internationalists advocate working-class revolution in both Koreas, were accused of no specific crime except being socialists, but in reality the indictment resulted from their intervention in several strikes and movements going back to 2007.
This is the first instance of such harsh repression under the National Security Law in many years. It occurs in the larger context of the hard-right turn of South Korean President Lee Myong Bak’s government since he took office in early 2008. A prime example of this was the smashing of the Ssangyong Motor Co. strike of 2009. In fact, leaflets of the SWLK distributed during the Ssangyong strike were key evidence in the trial.
Prosecutors have attempted to indict members of the SWLK several times since 2008, and prior to December, the prosecutors’ case was thrown out of court each time.
The sentencing will take place on Thursday, January 27. Solidarity messages to the SWLK can be emailed to email@example.com
For more information:
League for the Revolutionary Party (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Insurgent Notes (email@example.com)