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First protest takes place within 100 meters from new presidential office

First protest takes place within 100 meters from new presidential office

Posted May. 16, 2022 08:15,   

Updated May. 16, 2022 08:15


A protest rally took place at the main gate to the Defense Ministry building in Seoul’s Yongsan district, which is home to the new presidential office at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Some 500 members of ‘Rainbow Action Against Sexual-Minority Discrimination of Korea,’ who were marching on foot, stopped momentarily and cheered en masse upon hearing the moderator who said, “Senior minority is the first group of people who are marching in front of the new presidential office.”

The first protest rally took place ‘within 100 meters from the new presidential office room’ on the day, the first weekend after the inauguration of President Yoon Suk-yeol. Police banned street march on the day based on its interpretation that ‘the presidential office room’ is included the ‘presidential residence’ where protest rallies without a 100-meter radius are legally banned. However, as the Seoul Administrative Court partially accepted Rainbow Action’s request to halt execution of the ban, the protest rally proceeded as planned.

Thirty-three organizations including Rainbow Action held a ‘commemorative gathering on the day of resistance to hate against sexual minority’ at Yongsan Station Square at 3 p.m. on the day before staging a 2.5-kilometer street march towards Itaewon Square from 4:53 p.m. The participants chanted slogans, “Enact the act on a ban against discrimination” and “Introduce education on human rights of sexual minority,” holding banners of rainbow symbolizing sexual minority groups.

Police deployed hundreds of troops including traffic police and riot squads. Police officers clad in suit and wearing sunglasses were seen guarding the presidential office room by staying put every two meters, while police intelligence officers clad in casual clothing exchanged radio communications frequently. When the protesters momentarily stopped at 10 meters from the presidential office room, police officers talked to each other, saying, “Ask them to pass quickly.”