The World March group in Korea is continuing with its agenda. Between the lines of the blogs, the distant, centuries-old culture of the country comes through, along with the Peace that reigns in the Buddhist temple where they are staying, but also the enormous contradictions and violence that have marked recent decades in the history of the country.
After a visit to the Demilitarized Zone, some marchers went on to Yongsan to take part in a protest demonstration over the deaths of five people in a clash with the police, during an operation to clear the area in which the brutality of property speculation may have played a part.
During a gathering of dance and meditation in the park of City Hall, the police formed a human barrier surrounding three Korean citizens, on the pretext of the theft of a mobile phone. Those involved were some of the relatives of the victims. The decision to intervene was not taken lightly – conflicts with local authorities are absolutely to be avoided – but without further ado the female members of the group, writes Luis Silva on the March blog, got through the police cordon to embrace the surrounded demonstrators. The other marchers followed them. More police officers arrived and the tension was palpable.
Fortunately, probably due also to the intervention of a Zen monk who spoke to one of those in charge, the order to withdraw was given. Amid the thanks and the relief, all present said they were convinced that the outcome would have been different were it not for the intervention of the marchers.
A small victory perhaps, but certainly one of the many elements that together make up the mosaic of the World March for Peace and Nonviolence.