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37 Protestors Arrested in Anti-U.S. Beef Import Rally

Posted May. 26, 2008 07:52,   


Protestors participating in a candlelight vigil against U.S. beef imports occupied a downtown street in Seoul Saturday, with 37 of them arrested for occupying a street through early morning yesterday.

The arrested protestors reportedly violently resisted police.

Police said protestors who began a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. Saturday headed for the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae around 9:30 p.m. When riot police blocked them, however, the protesters occupied a street in front of Kyobo Bookstore. They waged a protest for more than eight hours until the next day.

Police took control around 4:30 a.m. yesterday and dispersed the protesters in two hours.

Police are considering arrest warrants for those who led the illegal rally and identifying the masterminds based on evidence from the site.

Korean National Police Agency Commissioner Han Jin-hee said, “We will find out if some of the protestors went to the presidential office intentionally with candles in their hands.”

Another rally yesterday in Seoul’s Cheonggye Plaza criticized the police crackdown and the arrests. Police and protestors heading for downtown Seoul also clashed.

turtle@donga.com dnsp@donga.com