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Ban on Large-scale Candle Light Vigil in Protest

Posted January. 02, 2003 22:22,   


From Jan. 3, `the candle light vigil in protest` in Sejong-ro intersection in Seoul will be banned, and the leader and those involves in illegal activities during the demonstration will be punished.

“The candle light vigil in protest regarding the death of the two schoolgirls is changing from the pure memorial event to the anti-US violent demonstration. We will protect memorial events but will sternly deal with illegal activities,” said National Police Agency (NPC) said on Jan. 2.

It also said, “From now on, we will sternly apply the regulations such as the bans on rallies at night and within 100m of foreign embassies and street occupation. We will no longer allow rallies under the pretext of memorial service.”

Accordingly, small-scale candle light vigil in Sejong-ro intersection will be allowed in the daytime, but large-scale demonstrations by thousands of people who occupy the intersection will be considered illegal. In the distance of 100m from the embassies, only small cultural services during the daytime will be allowed.

The 2 police squadrons entered the memorial service site in Kwangwhamoon, Seoul, dissipated participants, and seized all the equipment.

“On Dec. 31 last year, some members of citizens` group for memorial of the two schoolgirls brought in thinners and cotton clubs and damaged tires of police buses. Their rally was considered as a violent demonstration. So we took such a measure,” said the police.

They also argued that during the Dec 31 candle light vigil, about 100 citizens threw 100 eggs at Chosun Ilbo building. Two police vehicles and equipment were damaged and about 10 citizens and police officers were injured.

The group had a press conference on Jan. 2, saying “Removal of the vigil site by force suggests that the police has no intention of bringing the death of the two schoolgirls to a settlement. We will continue the memorial service by collecting a citizens` group that will participate in the candle light vigil and an individual demonstration.”

Jin-Goo Lee sys1201@donga.com