News / Asia

Activists Do Not Ensure Peaceful Demonstrations During G20 Summit

Activists Do Not Ensure Peaceful Demonstrations During G20 Summit
Activists Do Not Ensure Peaceful Demonstrations During G20 Summit

The South Korean government is tightening security ahead of next week's summit of the Group of 20 leading world economies. But members of South Korean civic and labor organizations say the security measures will not stop them from demonstrating against what they call the unfair economic policies of the G20. And they say they can not guarantee that protests will remain peaceful.

South Korean authorities do not want a repeat of what happened during June's G20 summit in Toronto. There, demonstrators broke the windows of businesses and burned police cars. Hundreds were arrested for instigating violence.

For the G20 summit next week, Seoul has banned protests near around the summit venues and will dispatch 20,000  police officers to patrol the area. The government also denied visas to some foreign anti-globalization activists.

No promises

But an umbrella group representing 80 Korean organizations that oppose the G20's economic policies says it will protest in the days ahead of and during the summit.

At a news conference in Seoul Friday, representatives of the group say that South Korea's security measures are undemocratic and threaten their freedom of speech.

Kim Young-hoon, president of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, said that because of Seoul's security crackdown, he can not guarantee that protests will not turn violent.

"That if the rights of workers and the ordinary people like freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, if these rights and if these freedoms are guaranteed and if it ensures our voices are properly delivered to the general public, that will be the only solution to preventing any kind of violent actions,"  Kim said.

Protests involving Korean trade unions have in the past turned violent, as have past anti-free trade rallies in South Korea.

Past protests

South Korean riot police faced criticism for using water cannons on demonstrators in the past.

Kim says that if such tactics are employed during the G20 summit, the government should be held responsible for what happens.

"Excessive use of force to crack down on demonstrations and rallies, to crack down and oppress our rights, will induce or provoke the demonstrations to become violent, that, nobody wants," Kim said.

Critics of the G20 say policies the leaders adopt over trade and economic planning harm workers and the poor. In South Korea, many unions fear greater trade liberalizations or a stronger currency will cost them jobs. South Korean farmers say that allowing more imported food will put them out of business.

The civic and labor groups will hold their first anti-G20 protest on Sunday and another on the opening day of the summit on November 11.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Researcher: Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor at Symposium on Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome says problem involves more than calorie intake, warns of worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thoughti
X
George Putic
May 26, 2015 9:26 PM
Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.

VOA Blogs