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Protest Leading Fugitive Arrested in Seoul

Posted October. 20, 2008 08:44,   


A deputy leader of an online community against President Lee Myung-bak was arrested yesterday on the charge of leading illegal street demonstrations.

Baek Eun-jong, 55, was apprehended by the Jongno Police Station in Seoul.

“We arrested Baek yesterday," a police spokesman said. "He had been hiding in the (Buddhist) Jogye Temple for more than 100 days. We will send him to an arraignment hearing for his involvement in illegal protests.”

To evade police, Baek sought safety at the temple on July 5, along with fellow fugitives. He ventured out Saturday to join a demonstration at Cheonggye Plaza and got arrested.

The goal of the street protest, meanwhile, changed from blasting U.S. beef imports to urging action on the economic downturn. Over the last two months, they had not held a rally.

A total of 1,100 members of leftist groups held a demonstration at the plaza Saturday, criticizing the Lee administration for the national economic crisis. They said recent tax cuts will help only the top one percent of the income bracket and blasted the police crackdown on protestors as undemocratic.

Authorities said the latest protest was an overture for continuing demonstrations to topple the administration by highlighting the hobbling economy. The protesters plan to launch a new organization this coming Saturday.

constant25@donga.com turtle@donga.com