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Right-Wing Groups Destroy Roh's Mourning Center
Citizens say police colluded with 'thugs for hire'
OhmyNews (internews)     Print Article 
Published 2009-06-24 15:20 (KST)   
This article is a partial translation of an OhmyNews article in Korean found here.  <Editor's Note>
Right-wing Group Takes Down Roh Moo-hyun Memorial

The citizen mourning center in front of Deoksu Palace in Seoul, was forcibly taken down by Korean right wing groups early Wednesday morning on June 24. The citizen mourning center committee had planned to maintain the mourning center until July 10, the 49th day of mourning.

Seo Jeong-gap, head of the right-wing Citizen Behavior Organization, said that 50 of their affiliated members took down the mourning center at 5:40 a.m. The destruction of the center only took four minutes. There were about six mourning center volunteers sleeping in the outdoor tent and about 10 citizens outside but they were helpless.

There were about 60 police officers on hand, but they only watched the situation from the sidelines. In fact, they blocked traffic so that the right wing members could cross the street safely.

Mourning center volunteers are trying to secure the area, but the police is preventing them from pitching the outdoor tents again. Seo Jeong-gap said, "This mourning center is an embarrassing sight for foreign tourists. If they rebuild the center we're going to come back and 'clean it up' again."

Democratic party lawmaker, Choi Moon-soon came quickly to the scene at Deoksu Palace and said, "This was schemed by the police and right wing groups." He added, "How could they take down the mourning center before the 49th mourning day?"

The following is a Youtube video of the take-down.

Early Wednesday morning of June 24, about 30 members of Korean right-wing groups rushed to the "Citizen Mourning Center of the former President Roh Moo-hyun" and destroyed the center.
©2009 Youtube

Right-wing group members destroy the memorial center in front of Deoksu Palace.
©2009 Youtube

Right-wing group members wearing army fatigue leave the scene.
©2009 Youtube

Right-wing group members wearing black uniforms leave the scene as they are confronted by an organizer of the mourning center.
©2009 Youtube

Citizens say police are 'thugs for hire'

Citizens trying to secure the mourning center at Deoksu Palace said that "the destruction of the mourning center is the result of collusion between police, thugs for hire and right-wing groups."

They held a press conference at 10:30 a.m. on June 24. Organizers said, "there were tens of police officers only 30 meters away, but they did nothing to stop what happened."

Organizers of the citizen mourning center announced that if these violations of the mourning center continue, then they would organize the traditional Confucian three-year mourning period.
©2009 OhmyNews Yoo S.H.

The organizers continued, "Last year, even when a candlelight vigil holder at Jogye Temple, was attacked with a knife, the perpetrator escaped without any police action."

"Last January five protesters at Yongsan lost their lives through the collusion between the police and thugs. The police is no better than thugs for hire. They get rid of people who irritate the Lee Myung-bak government."

"Maintaining a mourning center is part of our traditional law, and it's a right that cannot be taken away from the people." The organizers added, "Allowing the right wing groups to forcibly take down a mourning center for the former President is aiding and abetting a crime and is neglect of their duty."

On the morning of June 24 after right wing group members forcibly took down the citizen mourning center of former President Roh Moo-hyun, a citizen takes a sad look around the disrupted scene.
©2009 OhmyNews Yoo S.H.

©2009 OhmyNews
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