Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Promoting 518 Events: 2008 GIPF and Nanjang-Human-Free Concert

2008 Gwangju International Peace Forum (2008 GIPF)

Nanjang-Human-Free Concert

On May 13, 2008 we promoted and posted the 2008 Gwangju International Peace Forum (2008 GIPF) and the 2008 Nanjang-Human-Free Concert posters in the following University:

1. Chonnam University
The front gate of Chonnam University is where the historic May 18 Democratic Uprising started. At midninght of May 17, 1980, when the nation was put under martial law, martial troops deployed inside the Chonnam National University campus started clubbing students without mercy and carried many of them off to an illegal detention. Around 10 AM of May 18, students gathered and protested at the front gate of Chonnam National University against the martial troops that blocked the entrance of the university. This was the first clash that led the student to demonstrate at Gwangju Station and Geumnam-ro. During the period, the martial troops hauled the arrested citizens into the Science Department Building. The mass beatings led to some deaths and the bodies were buried on the campus and later excavated. The science Department Building was destroyed when the front gate was rebuilt. The Yongbong-cheon (Yongbong Stream) and a bridge crossing it are now covered with earth.

2. Chosun University
Students from this university together with Chonnam University had led the local democratization movement even before the May 18 Uprising. Chosun University students played a pivotal role in the leading group of the citizen's force during the uprising. The martial forces advanced to this campus right after the government expanded the scope of martial law across the nation which went into effect at midnight of May 17. The campus was also a place where many arrested citizens and students were cruelly treated and detained in gyms and makeshift tents by the club-wielding martial forces.

These universities are famed as important symbol of the May 18 Gwangju Democratic Uprising. In the 1980's students from these universities lead demonstrations together with the Gwangju citizens against military dictatorship.

We also spread some brochures in the following places:

1. Gwangju Bus Terminal (U-Square)
During the uprising the former Intercity Bus Terminal site was the transportation hub to cities and countries all over Jeonnam. In the afternoon of May 19, a large-scale rally was held here in protest against the excessive crackdown by martial force. The troops stormed even into the waiting room of the terminal and underpass next to it and wielded bayonet indiscriminately, instantly turning the place into a bloody scene and a state of confusion. The news of the military brutality was quickly spread to every place especially the Jeonnam areas by people who left Gwangju by intercity buses. This place was once used by paeatroopers as their quarter.

2. Gwangju Station Square
The square was the scene of fierce fights between the citizens of Gwangju and the martial troops during the May 18 Democratic Uprising. On the night of May 20, the heated demonstrations were met by martial troops with gunfire directed at the unarmed crowd protesting against the bloody suppression and atrocities. Besides the many injured citizens, two dead bodies were found on the morning of May 21. The bodies were carried to the Jeonnam Provincial Hall Square, stirring the anger of tens of thousands of citizens of the Democratic Uprising.

These places are also symbolic of the 1980 Gwangju Democratic Uprising.

In the case at the university, we first ask for permit from the university student leaders council to post the posters. Posting those posters is aimed at announcing 518 events to the university students and for university journalist to cover it.


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