Thursday, September 08, 2005

Justice to MUNIR, Justice for ALL !

Commemorating the 1st Death Anniversary of Munir

I. Objective

To make use of Munir’s 1st death anniversary to advocate his case to the Korean public by informing and getting their support through signature campaign. This campaign shall serve as contribution to the growing international pressure to Indonesian government to act judiciously on the assassination of Munir.

2. Forms of Action

Exhibition using campaign materials such as : Munir’s profile, pictures of human rights situation in Indonesia, and news articles on Munir case.

Spread and distribute leaflets on Munir case.

Gather signature by signing cards of support on Munir case addressed to the Indonesian President Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

3. Description of Situation

At Chonnam University

We arrived there at about 09.00 AM. It is good that the weather that day was conducive for us to conduct the activity (there was an typhoon forecasted in the news). The wind has dropped down the exhibited boards several times but it did not disturb us so much. We did it at the across of the Student Center building. Many students walked around that area and passed our stand too. Some of us dispersed one by one in some spots around the area and spread the cards/leaflets and approached the people to sign. While the rest stayed in the desk to serve and wait on people who passed around. We kept explaining and informing the case directly to the people there.

We also played the documentary films about Indonesia’s human rights issue/situation. We got more than half of all cards signed in this location. We left for Down Town at about 01.30 PM.

In Chonnam University, since it is a campus, the audience were mostly students, only few were lecturers. While in Down Town area, the audience is more varied. There are traders, workers, students, youths, monks, children, mothers, and other common people in it.

It means that we have targeted various kinds of people who were representatives of the Korean public. Therefore, it is justifiable to claim that we got the sympathy and support of the Korean public.

At Down Town

We arrived there at about 02.00 PM. We did it in front of the Post Office. It was on a crossroads where people passed by. Like in Chonnam University, some of us dispersed to different spots around the area; spread the cards/leaflets and approached the people to sign.

While the rest stayed in the desk (Sang Seon Kim, Jaedae Ko, Cheung Park) to inform and explain the campaigns in detail (obviously the interns can’t communicate in Korean !). The audience there was more varied. The people usually got attracted to the displayed pictures of violence (some were comparing it even to the scenes of the May 18 Gwangju Democratic Uprising).

Some children look surprised ( I hope not shocked of the display of explicit and gory pictures). They showed their curiosity by asking many questions and giving comments ( So Agnes tried her best to talk to them in English, while they asked in Korean – hmmm wonder of dialogue) . So we explained the matter we were campaigning. We left that place at about 05.30 PM.

4. Result

1. Some photo/journalists came and covered the activity (newspaper – The Namdo Ilbo- at page 2 ! and two online news – and wow !).

2. Of the 1000 cards we distributed, 800 were signed and 120 unreturned, only 80 were left empty.

We can conclude that this activity was successful in meeting its goals and objectives. We have concrete evidences as basis for this claim (hurrayyyyy !).

5. Lessons

It is very good to interact directly with Korean public and let them know about Munir case.

We have opportunity to be in touch with various kinds of Korean people (across age, gender, profession, etc. – I believe there were several foreigners as well )

The interns had a good opportunity to show cooperation by doing concrete international solidarity action for this very significant event.

We received full support from May 18 Memorial Foundation.

I personally felt I was not able to fully maximize the opportunity and explain to the public the case due to my lack of language facility.

As a first experiment of organizing and conducting this activity, this is a very good experience for me and for the interns as well.

I hope we can do such activities/ events in the future with better performance.

(Note: This is a syndicated report of Agnes Gurning of IKOHI, sorry I can't control my fingers to tap the keyboard and introduce my own commentaries- my apology, pete).

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