000 participants of the ‘Citizens’ Rally to Carry on the Mantle of the June Struggle and Reclaim Democracy’ hold up their candles to demand the restoration of democracy at Seoul Plaza
An estimated 100,000 people participated in the ‘Citizens’ Rally to Carry on the Mantle of the June Struggle and Reclaim Democracy’ held in Seoul Plaza on the night of June 10. The rally was hosted by approximately 500 civic organizations, four major religious orders and political parties, including the Democratic Party (DP), the Democratic Labor Party (DLP), the Creative Korea Party (CKP) and the New Progressive Party (NPP).
During the rally, several leaders of sponsoring organizations delivered speeches, including DP Chairperson Chung Sye-kyun, Jinbo Corea President Lee Kang-sil, and Minbyun-Lawyers for Democratic Society President Baek Seung-heon. In addition, representatives of unions, farmer associations, student federations, women’s groups, media outlets and academia read a collective resolution urging the Lee Myung-bak administration to restore democracy and change the keynote in its methods of governance.
“President Lee Myung-bak is trying to suffocate democracy, and even in the wake of former President Roh Moo-hyun’s death has only strengthened his unilateral style of governing the country,” they said. “We will engage in direct and wide-scale action if President Lee continues to ignore the people’s wish to discontinue his unilateral exercising of power,” they added. The representatives demanded a presidential apology, a cease in the use of suppressive measures, a priority to create policies that support people’s livelihood, a restoration of peaceful inter-Korean relations, and a change in his methods of governance. They also announced the start of a signature campaign.
Prior to the rally, some citizens had marched towards Gwangwhamun in the direction of the Cheong Wa Dae (the presidential office in South Korea or Blue House) shouting, “Overthrow the Dictatorship,” but were blocked by riot police who were part of the 22,000-member police force that was deployed around Seoul Plaza.
The rally concluded peacefully at 10:20 p.m. Some participants attempted to go through Gwangwhamun afterwards, but were dispersed by police at 11:15 p.m.
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