Anti-war rallies intensify as subway joins the fray

By Yoon Hyae-sin <>, JoongAng Daily, 1 April 2003

The student councils of Ewha Womans University, Pusan National University and Hankuk Aviation University said they would stage an anti-war protest by boycotting classes on Friday.

The councils from 15 student organizations held a press conference at Ewha Womans University yesterday where they decided to try to rally college students into protesting the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

More than 80 percent of people said the war should be stopped, student protesters at the conference said. However, the Roh administration ignores public sentiment, taking sides with the U.S. government.

The 15 organizations from the three universities said they would march through the National Assembly in Yeouido, western Seoul, tomorrow, where President Roh Moo-hyun is scheduled to deliver an address on the state of affairs. In addition, another anti-war demonstration is scheduled to be held on Friday in Jongmyo Park, central Seoul.

The labor union of the Seoul Metropolitan Subway Corporation said yesterday it would strike if the government decides to send Korean troops to Iraq. This would mark the first strike by the subway labor union against a governmental decision not related to the union, an official at the union said.

Union members will vote whether to strike as soon as the government finalizes its decision, the union official said.

Before the vote, the union will post anti-war slogans on trains and in subway stations to inform citizens of the union’s anti-war stance.

In addition, 40 human rights activists, ministers and an actress held a press meeting in Myeongdong Cathedral yesterday, demanding the war be stopped. These people said they would hold an anti-war sit-in in the cathedral until the end of next week.

In Gangwon province, 700 reserved officers and soldiers said they strongly oppose the government plan to send Korean soldiers to Iraq.

We did not do our military service in order to kill children and help the United States secure tighter control over the world’s oil, a former active duty officer said.