Solidarity letter to anti-POSCO movement from Korean jail: Sung-Hee Choi

Madhumita Dutta has sent us this powerful letter in solidarity with the people of Jagatsinghpur opposing the POSCO project, written by a South Korean activist SUNG-HEE CHOI, in prison for opposing a naval base.

Dear residents in Jagatsinghpur,

I am a woman and activist living in South Korea, the country of the POSCO you oppose. I am currently being jailed in the Jeju prison, under the charge of ‘interruption of business’, because of my resistance against the enforcement of the naval base construction in the Jeju Island located in the south of South Korea. As of today, July 3, I met 46th day since my arrest and 44th day since my being restrained.

I accidently happened to see two of your struggle photos and a photo in the Korean Times, June 13, 2011 had a  caption underneath it:
‘Anti POSCO action in India: A village sprays water to relieve children lying with other villages along the entry point to prevent policemen and officials from entering their area at Jagatsinghpur district, about 140 kilometers(87 miles) east of eastern Bhubareshwary India, Saturday. The villagers have been protesting against turning their farmland into an industrial developed area for a $12 billion steal plant of South Korean conglomerate POSCO (AP-Yonhap).’

The situation of the Gangjeong village, Jeju Island, when I, along with many others, wanted to prevent naval base, is very much like yours. The Gangjeong villages who have fought for four years to save their village are keeping vigil day and night against sudden crackdown by the navy and construction companies (Samsung and Daerim etc.). It is for not being robbed of their lands.  If trucks come, they block them with their bodies and if ships come, they resist them by swimming to them.

Recently, a movie critic named, Yang Yoon-Mo had total 76 days’ fast including 60 days’ prison fast, against naval base. The Gangjeong village itself is an ecology-excellent village while the Gangjeong Sea is when the UNESCO-protected soft corals inhibit. The naval base construction site in the Gangjeong village is the very habitat for the endangered species such as red feet crabs and small round frogs. But the navy has expropriated more than 51% of the villages’ land and threatened them so that they could not but get the deposited money as indemnity.

Because the Jeju naval base would make the Jeju, ‘the Peace Island’ into ‘the War Island’, and would destroy peace in the northeast Asia, further in the whole Asia & world, not only the Gangjeong villages but many people are opposing it.

I could but feel great sadness and anger over the fact that a big South Korean conglomerate is to rob of and to destroy your lands. The POSCO is one of the big, infamous corporations, along with Samsung, which has oppressed its workers, with its no-labor union policy.

Since the POSCO would destroy not only the environment of your hometown but also your rights to live, your struggle is so just ‘legitimate self-defense’. It is like my action should be called not as ‘interruption of business’, but as ‘legitimate self-defense’.

Expression my anger to the POSCO and my apology to you, I also send my warm, comradeship, respect, consolence and encouragement. Your courage and urgency more me.

Wholeheartedly supporting your struggle to save your hometown and your rights to live from reckless developmentalism and imperialism hands. I pray for the success of your struggle.
In solidarity.
July 3, 2011

One thought on “Solidarity letter to anti-POSCO movement from Korean jail: Sung-Hee Choi”

  1. On behalf of Banglar Manabadhikar Mancha (MASUM) on 21-22 June,2011 we visited the proposed Posco area in Odhisa, particularly Dhinkia village and Gobindpur village. We studied the livelihood condition and Police Tortur by face to face interaction and group discussion with lacal folk. We also arranged a medical camp to support the torture victims on 10 July 2011.

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