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human & civil rights | imperialism & war

US military base displaces elderly farmers

Below a brief history and personal testimony. The people of S. Korea request your solidarity.
In Portland, learn more about the struggle against the US military forced relocation, and the
fight for control over land and food production - at the premiere of Portlander, Miae Kim's
film - Pyeontaek - South Korean Farmers' Struggle for land
Monday, March 19th at 7pm
Liberty Hall
311 N. Ivy

Dec 2004: The Korean government releases plans to give extra 2,851 acres to the US Army base in Pyeongtaek
Dec 2005: The government approves the seizure of the village of Daechuri
March 2006: Villagers resist two forceful eviction attempts, in which several human rights activist are detained
May 2006: Up to 130 people are reported injured after 13,000 riot police and 3000 troops are deployed against campaigners and farmers
Feb 2007: The government says that villagers have agreed to vacate their homes by 31 March 2007

"This is the third time our village is being evicted. My family first lost their land during the Japanese colonial rule. The Japanese took it to build military facilities."

The second time was during the Korean war when the original US base was built.

I was only 17 years old. I was living with my parents, my brother, his wife and our younger siblings.

Back then, the men had to go to the army for military service so only the women stayed in the village. We couldn't even fight to protect our land.

They set fire to our house. People packed their belongings and moved out. Many elderly died. We received no compensation.

My brother's wife was raped by a US soldier, while my brother was serving in the Korean army. Three other women from the village were raped. One of them still lives here.

In May last year, when the police and military came to barbwire our land away from us, I wanted to die. I couldn't believe they are doing this to us again.

I am in pain when I think what's happening to us. Some people say that our village is worth nothing compared to the value of the land in central Seoul that will be returned to the government once the US military moves here. I find that odd and heartbreaking.

So the land in the city is much more valuable than our livelihood? We turned these tidal flats into rich, arable land with our own hands, to be kicked out again and again. I feel hurt and betrayed. I feel forgotten.

homepage: homepage: http://koreanfarmer.blogspot.com