Man in coma after police react to remove protesters from Gangjeong village, South Korea, site of a proposed naval base.

18.01.2010 - Gangjeong - Tony Robinson

The site, on the east side of the village, had been previously barricaded by local residents with cars after cranes, contracted by the navy, first entered the site on January 6th. About 30 people succeeded in blocking the site at that time.

Local organisers report that the police acted severely against the protesters who are mostly in their old age. Local residents laid their bodies on the ground in protest. Comparisons were drawn with the police brutality at Pyeongteak, the site of a new US military base, when police surrounded the village early at dawn on May 4, 2006.

Later on this morning, local activists reported the removal of 47 local residents to the police station and activists and members of the Catholic Fathers were taken away by police after staging protests on the cranes.

In addition there have been reports of serious injuries, with one 70 year old man in a coma after hitting his head on a rock after being allegedly pushed by a police man. He was in turn protesting against the pushing of an old woman and a 41 year old Korean Confederation of Trade Union activist was taken to hospital but released hours later.

A candlelight vigil is now taking place with around 50 locals and activists, although the police have blocked more people from entering the site.

The same pattern is expected again tomorrow, with protests, arrests and removals.

The site of the car barricade has now been cleared and wire fences erected to protect the cranes that have now started work.

http://nobasestorieskorea.blogspot.com (for more photos and video)

Categories: Asia, International, International issues

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