By Choo Chon Kai
Indonesia has a rich history of peoples’ resistance. The resistances against Japanese Occupation and Dutch Colonization, are the struggles that brought together ordinary people from diverse cultural background on islands in Nusantara that spread from Hindi Ocean to Pacific Ocean.
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.
As one of the more progressive newspapers in South Korea, the Hankyoreh has organized a series of features on the so-called 386 generation that brought democracy to South Korea. 386 means a generation who were born in the ’60s, entered college in the ’80s, and were in their ’30s at the time the term was coined.
The news on the TV reports
Young people mounting a bulldozer
banners waving: Star Ferry Pie stays
Mixed feelings pull my head down
Angry demonstrations spread across the Korean penninsula Wednesday (November 22)as part of a large, broad-based campaign to oppose the current negotiations over the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement and the general state of labour relations and foreign policy on the penninsula.
[Image and caption from the Hankyoreh.) [Image Caption: President Roh Moo-hyun flies back to Korea, poring over plans for the "Roh Moo-hyun Memorial."On the ground below there are fires burning, namely "real estate," "unemployment," and "education." Near the destruction, you also see massive street protests. One is in opposition to a free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States. The other is a protest by part-time and contract workers calling for better legal protection.]
Friday 7 p.m., September 15, 2007, about a dozen members of Taiwan: A Radical Quarterly in Social Studies (Taiwan Radical Quarterly) gathered in the drizzle at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, and participated in a demonstration consisting of over a million people, seeking to depose Bien.
However, the place was over-crowded by the people in Red, with some people calling the scene a "Red Sea". We could barely enter Ketagalan Boulevard, therefore we walked against the tide and made a detour to Taipei Station from the Chungshan South Road near the National Taiwan University Hospital.
Later, we realized that such "free walking", without any leadership from "centre" in a traditional political / social movement, is the key point of the whole parade. We couldn't hear what was happening from the command platform. So instead of wasting our time, we arranged our own battle. People wandered around and shared their excitement with their friends and colleagues in Red along the way.
On 21 September, more than a thousand five hundred workers from seven states in Malaysia held a three-hour demonstration at Parliament house. The kind of mobilization done by the Factory and Union Coalition of JERIT (Oppressed People’s Network) on a working day would put even political parties and the Trade Union Movement to shame.
According to the report at Days in Daechuri, 22,000 riot police had demolished more than 60 houses at Daechuri and Doduri, Pyeongtaek, in order to clear the land for the future U.S. military base yesterday (13 of September).
Daechuri is a peace village built in Feburary 2005 by local villagers, churches, artists and peace activists, who oppose the expansion of U.S military base in Pyeongtaek. In the past one and a half year, they tried very hard to restore the peaceful life in Daechuri by ensuring the supply of water, electricity, renovating village houses and cultivating land.
Wearing black, holding the picture of Kuang, a group of sex workers, COSWAS (Collective of Sex Workers and supporters) members and other labour organizations staged a protest on August 23, in front of the Presidential Office to call for de-criminalization of sex workers and to call for president Chen, former mayor of Taipei City to be responsible for it.