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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid