Go to contents

Analysis: 1/4 of Street Protestors Are Jobless

Posted June. 16, 2009 01:01,   


One-fourth of regular protestors who have occupied roads and used violence in demonstrations in downtown Seoul are jobless, the results of a police study released yesterday said.

A special investigation team at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency analyzed the jobs of 131 protesters nabbed by police for regularly participating in protests.

Of them, 32 were jobless (24.4 percent); 15 were attending college (11.4 percent); 13 were white-collar workers (9.9 percent); six were day laborers (4.5 percent); six were self-employed (4.5 percent); six were members of civic groups (4.5 percent); and five were going to high school (3.8 percent).

Forty-eight protesters (36.6 percent) refused to name their jobs.

By age group, 37 protesters were in their 40s (28.2 percent); 35 in their 20s (26.7 percent); 33 in their 30s (25.1 percent); 14 in their 50s (10.6 percent); nine in their teens (6.8 percent); and three in their 60s or older (2.2 percent).

The special investigation team was formed to analyze regular protesters after demonstrators attacked an officer and stole and used his credit card March 7. The protestors were honoring those killed in a standoff between police and protesters in Seoul’s Yongsan district in January.

Police as of yesterday had prosecuted 131 people, with 11 incarcerated, 106 booked without detention, and 14 put on the wanted list.

Regular protestors were found to operate small groups on the Internet portal Daum’s Agora community or other Web sites to share information on protests. They paralyzed traffic in downtown Seoul with guerilla tactics by moving in groups, occupying roads for demonstrations, and beating riot police blocking them and then running away.

Police are investigating the March 7 beating of a policeman and the May 1 disruption of the opening ceremony of the Hi Seoul Festival by protesters.

“We found regular protesters after identifying those who used violence from evidence,” a police source said. “We are also investigating whether they used violence in other protests in violation of the law on assembly and protests.”

Another police source said, “Progressive groups led the candlelight vigils against U.S. beef imports last year, but protests thereafter have been led by regular protesters who met online.”