Controversy in Korea: Citizens Denied Demonstration

Korean police turning water cannons on demonstrators Photo provided by

Korean police turning water cannons on demonstrators

Photo provided by

Last weekend, Nov. 14 (time in Korea), there was a big demonstration at Gwanghwamun square in Seoul. The object of the demonstration was that if people were discontented with the government, they should be able to come out and express what they want.

People largely demonstrated against state-issued history textbooks. Last month, the government announced that they will change the current history textbook to a state-issued history textbook. People have opposed the decision of the government and decided to express their opinion by demonstration.

During the demonstration there was controversy about the action of the police against demonstrators. People who demonstrated have claimed that there was an excessive use of force by the police to put down the protest.

The police blocked people who participated in the protest with police buses around the meeting place The biggest controversy is that the police turned water cannons on the protestors and a farmer was injured and lost consciousness on the spot. However, the police did not stop firing the water cannons. The worst was that police continued firing even when he was carried by an emergency car. He is still in critical condition. The water cannon that the police used to repress the protestors was mixed with capsaicin and oil, which is dangerous as it can cause skin disease. Reporters and cameramen who were there insisted that there was suppression of news coverage. The police turned water cannons on reporters and cameramen on purpose.

However, some people insisted that it was a violent demonstration and some protestors had iron pipes and ropes to take down the buses that blocked protestors. They believed that the action of the police was reasonable.

People who demonstrated were permitted by the government and it was legal. South Korea is a democratic country and people can express their thoughts and raise objections against the government. Most think the government should rethink their suppressions and apologize to the people.


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