In honor of the memory of the uprising on JeJu Island on April 3, 1948 known as 4.3, several people held a silent performance in the Columbus Circle area of New York City.
The purpose of the demonstration was to inform the public about the struggle in the Jeju Island village of Gangjeong against the building of a naval base.
Holding up signs about the struggle on Jeju, the demonstrators attracted interest from people walking by.
Several people wanted to learn about the Jeju situation and took the leaflet being handed out.
Some stopped to talk to learn more about what was happening with Gangjeong Village.
The leaflet explained that on March 21, 2012 Samsung used 1.5 tons of explosives to blow up a rock formation called Gureombi as part of the excavation process to build a naval base on an area designed as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
Gureombi rock represents a spiritual connection with nature for many Gangjeong villagers as it is a unique resource more than 30,000 years old, according to geological experts.
It supports wildlife that is unique.
Destroying it is very heartbreaking to the villagers.
The leaflet gave some background of the Jeju struggle describing how in 2009 the Grand National Party-majority in Parliament decided to amend the regulations that had protected Jeju Island as an “Absolute Preservation Site.”
This released Jeju Island from the protection of the regulations and changed its status despite 94% opposition among villagers.
Some of those who stopped to learn about the issues of the demonstration said they had not heard anything about the opposition to the building of the naval base on Jeju Island.
They said they appreciated being informed about what was happening.
A few people also asked what they could do to support the struggle of those fighting against the building of the naval base.
They said they would try to learn more about the situation and let other people they knew know what was happening with the struggle on Jeju.
The silent performance in honor of 4.3 was a bitter sweet reminder of the heroic struggle of the people of Jeju Island, especially the uprising on April 3 1948 to fight against the US and UN efforts to enforce the division of Korea.
Talking with one of the participants in the demonstration it was helpful to review some of the events of the more than 100 year struggle of the people of Korea against foreign oppression and for democracy.
The conclusion of the conversation was the realization that as long as Korea is divided, the division will be used to clamp down on the struggle of the people in South Korea for democracy.
On Wed, 4
by Ronda Hauben
This article appears on the netizenblog at http://blogs.taz.de/netizenblog/2012/04/04/4-3-silent-performance-jeju/