Just received an email from MediACT about the regression in democracy under the Lee Myung-bak regime, in particular the Grand National Party's (GNP) and conservative newspapers' attempt to take-over of public broadcasting and the replacement of major broadcasting networks' executives with pro-government figure. MediACT, South Korea’s first public media center, has become one of the victims of the regression, as the Korean Film Council has decided to dismantle the media center and force its staff to resign as of February 1. To support SaveMediact petition, please visit petition online.
"Shall we protest? _ Chotbul Documentary" is an independent documentary about the digitally networked protest in 2008, S.Korea. Chotbul literally means the candlelight but a metonym for the candlelight vigil protest in this context. Chotbul as a daily protest lasted at least 4 months from May 2nd till August, 2008 and it still continues and evolves in a number of diverse ways. This documentary shows how the Chotbul protest firstly against the mad cow disease concern out of U.S. beef import negotiation and Lee government has been organized by netizens through the internet for the first days of protests, 2nd and 3rd of May, 2008. Like Chotbul participants’ self-organizing and sharing culture for creatively networked protests and grassroot tactical media, this documentary should be also shared as an open content for free copying, distributing and remixing.
Entire MTU leadership arrested
On Tuesday, November 27th, the entire executive of South Korea’s Migrant Trade Union was arrested by immigration officials in three co-coordinated morning actions targeting these migrants at their places of work and residence.
The MTU is a courageous union of undocumented migrant workers, supported by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) that has been active for three years in advocating for migrant workers rights. In recent months they had held a mass memorial service for migrants that had died in Korea, whether on the job or off. They also won a precedent-setting case at the Seoul High court which had ruled that the government must accept the legal registration of the Migrant Trade Union, something which the government failed to do, preferring instead, it seems, to arrest the union’s leadership rather than recognize it legally.
On July 1st South Korea's new Law on Non-Regular Work came into effect. The principle of the law was to protect non-regular workers, but in practice the way in which it has been put together and implemented has led to protection only for a few and increased precariousness for many.
A while ago I was able to visit the Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea. I haven't had much time since then to sit down and write up my reflections, but I have to give a short presentation on it in a few days so I thought I would put up a draft of my presentation as well as some pictures. Any comments, of course, would be highly appreciated as well.
Two weeks ago, I was in Sydney for the OURmedia conference. One of the most useful exchange was regarding the copyright issue.
PatchA from Jinbo.net had given us a very detailed brief about the US-Korea FTA negotiation on Copyright. There is a coalition of human right, media, citizen, and medical organizations against the FTA Copyright terms.
In brief, there are 4 major parts:
1. Extending the protection period from 50 to 70 years after the death of the creator. PatchA pointed out that Mickey mouse is already 76 years old, every year, the Disney company still fought to extend its copyright because its face worth billions of dollars every year.
In the wake of a tragic fire that ripped through the Yeosu detention on February 11th, migrant's groups in Korea and internationally have been mobilizing to bring to light the injustices that surround migrant's lives in Korea and elsewhere.
Last week(Feb 8, 2007), Kim Youngkon and Kim Donghae (husband and wife couple), visited Hong Kong to network with local worker organizations for consolidating East Asian workers solidarity.
I had not prepared for the chat as I had not heard of Mr and Mrs Kim's visit before and I had little background about their trip. After learning their critique of labour movement and their proposal for East Asia labour Union, I decided to develop the informal chat into this interview.
Kim Youngkon is now a lecturer in University. In 1972, he left his study and became an air conditioner worker (underground labour activist) until 1987, when the military government had given way to civil government. Since then, he worked in labour organization as activist for 10 years.
Gaijin Hanzai Ura File (Foreigner crime underground file)is an comic magazine full of distorted information and imagines about foreigners. And it promotes fear against foreigners (mainly Chinese and Korean) by reciting "everyone will become a target of ‘gaijin crime’ in 2007".