Go to contents


Opposition parties’ protests become a tourist spectacle

Opposition parties’ protests become a tourist spectacle

Posted August. 28, 2014 01:40,   


Some 60 lawmakers of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) got off from three buses in front of the statue of King Sejong in Gwanghwamun Plaza, downtown Seoul, at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday. NPAD lawmakers including Floor Leader Park Young-sun surrounded the plaza standing three meters apart each other with pickets reading, “Enact the special Sewol bill that the bereaved families agree.” This is a so-called a “human chain protest.”

Police urged them to disband several times. A police source warned, saying, “Unless the lawmakers widen more than 20 meters from each other, we’ll forcibly disband them.” It was an illegal protest that was not reported in advance and a human chain protest is against the current law (on protests). It was a nonsensical situation where police confronted the main opposition party in the center of downtown Seoul.

The NPAD lawmakers held a protest in front of the fountain of the presidential office on Tuesday. They said, “President Park Geun-hye should meet Yoo-min’s dad (Kim Yeong-oh), who has fasted at the risk of his life, and clarify her opinion on the special Sewol bill.”

Chinese tourists who watched the main opposition party’s lawmakers staging a protest in front of the fountain of the presidential office on Tuesday and in Gwanghwamun on Wednesday took pictures with their mobile phones or digital cameras. These places are the tourist destinations that as many as 10,000 Chinese tourists visit per day. Some Chinese tourists asked their Korean tour guide, “Are they filming a movie?” or “What are they saying?” A guide seemed at a loss and encouraged the tourists to move on the next place, but the Chinese tourists did not stop “sightseeing.” A 50-year-old citizen lamented, saying, “I’m concerned what foreigners would think about the main opposition party’s protests who criticize the president and the government outside the parliament.”

The minor opposition Justice Party “kindly” put up a banner in Chinese in front of the fountain of the presidential office. It said, “It is a place for a fasting protest for Justice Party’s lawmakers to precipitate the legislation of the special Sewol bill.” The intention behind it is to let Chinese tourists know about their fasting as a protest against the government. The protests of opposition parties outside the National Assembly have become a spectacle for Chinese tourists.