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Youngsu Won

The candlelight protests that refuse to go out: Understanding the significance of South Korea’s latest protest wave

 

 

By Youngsu Won

 

January 5, 2016 –– Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal –– The last day of 2016 witnessed another historic moment in South Korean history: once again, a huge mobilization involving 1 million people took place, taking the total number of people mobilized in 10 successive national days of candlelight action to over 10 million. These historical mobilizations of people power have had a tremendous impact on every sphere of South Korean society and politics.

 

South Korea: After President Park’s impeachment, candle light protests continue

 

 

By Youngsu Won

 

December 12, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On December 10, downtown Seoul was lit up by candles once again. One million people turned out for candle light rallies across the country, a day after President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment. In Seoul, a huge crowd of eight hundred thousand people gathered at Gwanghwamoon Square and marched toward the Blue House (presidential palace).

 

A wave of historically unprecedented mobilisations by South Korean indignados forced parliament to impeach the incompetent and corrupt president. It was a significant victory for peoples power. However, in the wake of this historical triumph, the popular struggle is heading into uncertain terrains.

 

South Korea’s historic candle light protests bring down President Park

 

 

By Youngsu Won

 

December 9, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — On December 9, Parliament voted in favor of a presidential impeachment by 234 votes to 56, with 7 invalid votes and 2 abstentions. Over 30,000 protesters were present to celebrate the impeachment. The votes in favor of impeachment exceeded what was expected, though it was slightly lower than the 81% support for impeachment among public opinion.

 

South Korea's civic revolution: Another mega-protest puts impeachment process back on track

 

 

[For more background on South Korea's çivic revolution, read Youngsu Won's previous article here.]

 

By Youngsu Won

 

December 6, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — December 3 saw another mega-protest hit President Park Geun-hye’s regime, with more than 2.32 million angry South Koreans participating in the 6th national candlelight protest called in recent weeks. Concerns of a lower turn out were swept aside, with the turnout surpassing the recently set record of 2 million people for the largest mobilisation in the country's history. Protesters demanded Park’s immediate and unconditional resignation. The massive outpour of anger has put back in motion an impeachment process that Park had hoped to derail.

 

South Korea shaken by new civic revolution

 

 

By Youngsu Won

 

December 3 — Green Left Weekly / Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — South Korea is currently in a vortex of an unprecedented political crisis.

 

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