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Autonomous Village Under Siege by Korean Troops

Pyeongtaek, South Korea - On March 6th, 2006, South Korean military riot police began an attack on the autonomous village of Daechuri. For over four years, Daechuri and the nearby community of Doduri have defiantly resisted the siezure of their homes and fields for the expansion of a United States Army base. Barracaded inside the elementary school, rice farmers, elderly residents, and peace activists are holding out against sporadic, sometimes intense attacks by Korea's elite military police force. International support is needed to pressure the Korean government to halt its brutal assault.
Autonomous Village Under Siege by Korean Troops Pyeongtaek, South Korea - On March 6th, 2006, South Korean military riot police began an attack on the autonomous village of Daechuri. For over four years, Daechuri and the nearby community of Doduri have defiantly resisted the siezure of their homes and fields for the expansion of a United States Army base. Barracaded inside the elementary school, rice farmers, elderly residents, and peace activists are holding out against sporadic, sometimes intense attacks by Korea's elite military police force. International support is needed to pressure the Korean government to halt its brutal assault. Utilizing tractors as road blocks, human shields chained to the school gates, and the courage of a people fighting for their homes and lives, they have, so far, resisted wave after wave of attacks by hundreds of military riot police. Residents and peace activists have suffered beatings and arrests, while inside the school, activists upload news updates, video of the attacks, and make pleas for immediate aid. They are exhausted and dehydrated, and in need of reinforcements and supplies. International observers, journalists, and anyone with a phone or a computer can take action now. The expansion of U.S. Army base Camp Humphreys (K-6) is part of the Global Repositioning Plan, first outlined by the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) and later adopted as the Bush Administration's strategy for consolidating its military hegemony over Northeast Asia. Opposition to the expansion of the base has come from many diverse currents within Korean society. Apart from community displacement, many have also highlighted issues including the devastating environmental impact of US bases , the violent crimescommitted by US troops stationed on the peninsula, the issue of human trafficking and forced prostitution which surrounds the bases, and the potential for a new arms race that could destabilize all of Northeast Asia. Currently, Camp Humphreys occupies 3,734 acres. However, in December 2004 the Korean government pledged to give over an additional 2,851 acres for the base facilities. But this land is flat, rich farm land stretching as far as the horizon. With this new expansion, some 1,372 residents will be driven off their land. Many are elderly people in the 60s and 70s. Fifty years ago these communities lost their land as 2 foreign forces (first Japanese, then American) built and expanded the base. Now for the 3rd time they will experience being forced off their own land. The Korean Ministry of National Defence (MND), has publicly declared that it will make the houses unlivable and the land untillable. If anyone touches an empty house they will be fined. To prevent people from engaging in agriculture the water lines have been cut and barbed wire has been laid. Residents and Korean peace organizations have been fighting the proposed expansion through legal means since 2001, all the while being deceived and ignored by officials, which finally prompted them to take matters into their own hands. In Feb 2005, Nomads for Peace "Peace Wind" moved into the village and initiated a variety of supportive activities while living with the residents. Last March, NGOs from all over Korea formed a Counter Measures Comittee to join with the residents of Pyongtaek in educational programs, publicity and solidarity actions. Eventually weary of the struggle, some villagers accepted the compensation money and left, others were intimidated into fleeing, but many farmers and their families refused to surrender their homes and livelihood to a foreign power's imperial ambitions. A national campaign formed, including a tractor driven "Peace Pilgrimage", as well as massive solidarity rallies. In November of '05, two Korean farmers died at the hands of riot police in Seoul. In December, 2005, the Land Expropriation Committee approved the "imminent domain" seizure of Daechuri, Doduri and the surrounding fields. The farmers' existence on their own land was now illegal. Outraged and dissillusioned with the corrupt beaurocracy of an indifferent government, in February, farmers marched to Pyeongtaek city hall and burned their "residency cards", renounced their Korean citizenship and declared Daechuri an autonomous region. Within this rebel territory, a vibrant community has flourished. Artists, musicians, peace activists, and religious leaders have joined with the residents, repairing and occupying vacant houses, and creating a "Peace Village". Murals of hope and resistance have appeared on blank walls, flags and banners opposing the American base expansion and U.S. imperialsim hang throughout the town. Traditional, shamanistic "totem poles" were carved in order to chase out the evil spirits plaguing the farmers. Every day, for over 550 days, residents and visitors have gathered in the Peace Village for a candlelight vigil. Famous Korean entertainers have made appearances and popular musicians held concerts to highlight the cause and encourage the farmers to continue fighting. Faced with the greatest tragedy of their lives, the villagers and their supporters have created a community of inspirational beauty and power. These peaceful farming communities are now being uprooted and brutalized due to American military expansion. Attacks against the village by Korean authorities will continue until the U.S. withdraws its proposal for base expansion. Only massive international solidarity can save this land. For future updates see: www.antigizi.or.kr/english and www.geocities.com/savePTfarmers/home e-mail: savePTfarmers@yahoo.com other links: www.greenkorea.org/english antigizi.or.kr/english www.peacekorea.org www.gopeac.or.kr/english/index.htm www.sarangbang.or.kr/eng www.anarclan.net http://www.archive.org/download/Daechuri/01_myhometown_eng.wmv http://kalaniosullivan.com/OsanAB/OsanSongtane2a.html http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache:r2y6Uhkm3soJ:www.workers.org/pdf/2005/ww072805.pdf +south+korea+farmers+die+november+pyeongtaek+expansion+base&hl=ko&gl=kr&ct=clnk&cd=7

homepage: homepage: http://geocities.com/saveptfarmers/home


Interview from 3-7-06 07.Mar.2006 23:33

gsr

Listen to an interview with Unity in S.Korea from March 7 2006

 http://radio.portland.indymedia.org:8000/content/Special/Special1-03-07-2006.pls
shields for humanity
shields for humanity

setting the stage for north korea 08.Mar.2006 06:40

반대 what@comeacrossthedmzandseewhathapens.com

if i were an overextended cultural empire i would pull out of seoul in 2008 just in time for the olympics in beijing, knowing full well that the olympics are now a militarized world event staring directly into the face of anti-imperialistic religious fanatcism. i would attempt to draw the lethally human north korean regime from it's natural reserve in between sorak mountain and the yalu river into the industrial wasteland that the u.n. has successfully constructed.


beijing has stated already in the presence of the leader of the freely-marketed world that it is willing to use nuclear strikes in case of a declaration of independence by the former island of formosa. the region is volatile. north korea has the largest standing army one can see on the planet, save drastic measures by china, and seems quite willing to cross the border and self-destruct on its brethren in order to claim the u.n.'s favored economic testing ground. the peninsula has been subjected to the whims of empire for centuries and our petridish-hourglass(narrow-minded. everything is not...ok) conception of modern "history" will not change this geographically unfortunate land's problem unless it becomes completely demilitarized like it should have been last century. that is what the people wanted in the land of the morning calm and that is what they still want.


their two finger camera salutes mean both peace and victory. it is safe to say that for the citizens of koryeo, peace is victory, victory is peace.


this base expansion may be part of a greater picture of multi-national imperial overexpansion, but unless you've tasted the rice of daechuri and doduri then you may never know how arundati roy's god of small things applies to such overarching problems as are faced by the farmers of south kyeong-gi province.


destabilize the far eastern region. destabilize the middle east. iraq, iran, syria, north koryeo, they are all fools waiting to watch commercials on tv sets made in china. the united states is the face of this information overload(oink, oink), and the united nations is the network through which this mindless consumption works itself into the belly of the unsuspecting capitalist.


for the monetary mind, skyscraper(grunt!!!!!), not clarity, arises from chaos and bloodshed.


미군기지확장결사반대!

Correct link to Take Action Now 08.Mar.2006 11:12

erock


Korea: Take Action Now 08.Mar.2006 11:21

Supporter

Note: geocities site may be down intermittently due to corporate bandwidth limits. Also note the correct link with capital "A" for "Action":

 http://www.geocities.com/saveptfarmers/Action

-------------------

Save PT Farmers International Solidarity Coalition

Demand an End to the Attacks and the Recognition of Daechuri's right to Exist.

Write and Call

If you are a US citizen, realize this attack is being waged in your name. Do not let this atrocity occur with your consent. Speak out

Korean Embassies in the US
 http://www.koreaembassyusa.org/han_koreaus/koconsulates/kor_info.asp

United States Representatives
 http://www.house.gov/writerep/

Contact the South Korean Ministry of National Defense and demand that they halt this brutal attack!

www.mnd.go.kr
from USA (011) Country code (82) 02-748-6891

Please contact Civic groups, Human rights and Religious organizations.
Write your local media and ask them to cover this breaking story.

 savePTfarmers@yahoo.com
E-mail letters of solidarity:

KCPT website: www.antigizi.or.kr/english

Pan-S.Korea Solution Committee Against US Base Expansion in Pyeongtaek (The National Campaign for Eradication of Crimes by US Troops in Korea)
E-mail:  nobasept@yahoo.co.kr
Fax: 82-02-723-7059

Address: Pyeongtaek Residents Action Committee
DaeChu Primary School, 160-12 Daechu-ri, Paengseong-eup, Pyeongtaek-si Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

related links:

www.greenkorea.org/english
antigizi.or.kr/english
www.peacekorea.org
www.gopeace.or.kr/english/index.htm
www.sarangbang.or.kr/eng
www.anarclan.net

Mirror of the saveptfarmers site 08.Mar.2006 13:55

support

The saveptfarmers geocities site is limiting bandwidth, preventing access at times to the site. Here is a mirror of the site:

 http://saveptfarmer.revolt.org/

chain link and barbed wire 09.Mar.2006 01:09

no won

one day,
early morning we were
walking along the
outside of the village there where the
barbed wire meets an
old woman's vegetables at the
edge of the base.

there, by a vacant house without a
roof and a
garbage pile full of
fleeing people's household 'couldn't-carrys',

we saw a group
of small children playing there on top of this
strange mountain along side the
barbed wire, there against the
backdrop of the village and the peaceful fields.

one little girl,
bolder than the rest steps down and says,
"who are you and
what are you doing here?
you have the face of the
enemy, the ones who
want our land for their
military."

and i must say i found this
little child
more than just a little bit
intimidating. but i
replied quite calmly that
irrespective of our
faces we were
firmly
on her side
of the fence.

the kids looked skeptically at us and
i said, "look here,
we've got a sign for those guys over there.
help us attach it to the fence
so they can see that we were here."

then hyun-ju decided that it sounded like a
fair deal to her so
she and her friends helped us with
coat hangers from the
garbage pile and
together we tied our little
hand written note of
indignation to the
chain link and barbed wire.

next time i saw hyun-ju there was a
group of us in masks with spray paint cans and
she came along and helped us out
decorating the walls with
red and black peace signs and
other messages
just outside the base perimiter.

and i must say,
that little girl is quite a
prodigy with a paint can and a little
indignation and a
heart so big
she could fit the entire world inside a
tiny corner of it,

i'm telling you.

hyun-ju
is a hero behind
chain link and barbed wire.

she's four-foot-nothing and she stands so much
taller than any
soldier that i've ever seen.

she's maybe 10 years old and she's got more
courage and more
love than anyone
10 times her age.

she reminds me
of why i get up
out of bed each day.

she inspires me
to do this suicidal work i do.

so, i live today for
hyun-ju and a
million little kids who play on
trash piles behind the

chain link and barbed wire of the
empire.

until every single fence has been torn down and
transformed into
homes and farming tools
we will not
lay down.
we will not
let go.

for hyun-ju and for
all those born into the
shadow of
chain link and barbed wire.

Renewed Attack on the Autonomous Village of Daechuri to Begin Today 13.Mar.2006 20:21

save pt farmers saveptfarmers@yahoo.com

Renewed Attack on the Autonomous Village of Daechuri to Begin Today

1,000 or more Korean troops are moving on the rice fields of Daechuri today with excavation equipment. 300 villagers and 100 peace activists are in the village to resist this attack. We will be updating throughout the day.

3/15 Attack Defeated But Worse Expected Tomorrow 15.Mar.2006 22:54

jepu savePTfarmers@yahoo.com

9:30am, March 15. Two backhoes begin gutting the rice paddies on the far side of the fields. Nearly one thousand riot police stand attentive at the edge of the field, armed with batons and shields. Thousands more are posted around the periphery of the village. An untold number wait at adjacent Camp Humphreys Army base, while hundreds monitor street intersections and key access points to the area, preventing any tractors or farming equipment to arrive for the March 17 spring cultivation. As the supporters realize that the destruction has already begun, they race down the long narrow concrete path that divides the vast fields. It snowed the past few days, and the paddies ar thick with mud. Protestors immediately surround the machines, who halt their excavating so as not to crush anyone. Someone climbs on top of the giant arm and secures himself to it. Elderly women lie down in front of the massive treads while people attempt to get inside the cab of the backhoe. The crowd of people split in two to confront each machine. The riot police stand at the edge of the fields, motionless, awaiting orders. There is a scuffle between an agitator and a protestor, and they tumble into the eight foot pit carved from formerly fertile soil. Video and still cameras point in all directions, daring the police or plain-clothed thugs to commit an atrocity under the gaze of the "media." Unable to continue the digging, the machines stand idle as people surrounding them are shouting and crying. The residents of Daechuri have feared this moment for years, the day their land would be transformed into dead earth, a mere platform for the U.S. military to expand its operational base and recreational facilities. Suddenly, the backhoes begin moving again, but instead of continuing their excavation the backhoes begin refilling the pits with the dirt that they had just removed. Elation passes through the crowd upon seeimg these workers disobey their orders and follow their hearts. Then the military riot police move into action, marching around the section of the field, cutting off all sides. They occupy two bridges, to prevent any more protestors in the village from joining. For a while there is a stand off. An eighty-year-old woman feignts and is taken to the hospital. The police begin to arrest people. Many protestors resist and are beaten down. Elderly villagers hurl mud at the police. Some people on the edges of the field cut through parts of the fence and set small fires on the army base. The struggle continues for hours, with police surronding the backhoes now covered with activists, with neither side gaining or losing much ground. Before nightfall, the police backed off, the day had been won, the fields still exist. Overall, 40 people are arrested. Many are injured, with broken wrists and ankles. At least two are still hospitalized in serious condition. Injured, exhausted, and running low on supplies and reinforcements, the residents of Daechuri and supporters of the Peace Village fear what will come tomorrow. There is word that the police will attack the elementary school again, the headquarters for the Peace Village. They desparately need more people to help defend.

see video and photos of the 15/3/06 attack:

 link to antigizi.or.kr