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Farmers introduce new protest weapons

The Korea Herald, 21 November 2003

Protesting farmers from all corners of the country displayed their creativity during their massive rallies in downtown Seoul on Wednesday when they introduced a set of new fighting tools—starfish bombs and empty rice husks.

Farmers from South Jeolla Province threw starfish bombs, or plastic bags filled with fertilizer made from starfish, at the police. The starfish were collected in large quantities off nearby seashores from fisherman’s sea farms for use as fertilizer when soaked and decayed in water.

Starfish have surprisingly large appetites and are known to consume up to two abalone, 10 mussels, and four sea squirts per day, making them one of the biggest threats to sea farms in the southern costal areas.

Because of their foul smell, bags of this starfish fertilizer concoction thrown at the police dispersed police lines with amazing efficacy.

One day after these starfish bombs with a smell of fermented shrimp and human excrement, pedestrians can still be seen plugging their noses against the lingering foul odor.

Some demonstrators threw away empty rice husks to impair the visibility of the riot police, in a symbolic protest of this year’s poor harvest due to typhoon and other uncooperative weather conditions.