On June 8, 2013, the ISC Media Team attended the 22nd National Commemoration of the Martyrs and Victims in the Struggle for Our Nation and Democracy. The first commemoration ceremony was held amidst tear gas in 1990 under Roh Tae Woo’s presidency.
A shrine composed of over 350 martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the nation and for democracy
Held in the same month as the National Memorial Day, the National Commemoration of the Martyrs and Victims in the Struggle for Our Nation and Democracy remembers and honors the workers, students, liberation fighters, farmers, women and disabled who fought for democracy and people’s liberation from oppression. Unsung, cast aside, and red-baited, the struggles and sacrifices of these martyrs made better the lives of all.
The legacy of martyrs in modern Korean history is divided into 7 periods: liberation from the Japanese until 1970 including Park Chung Hee’s dictatorship; Park Chung Hee’s Yushin Constitution in 1971 until the May 18th Uprising in 1980; Chun Doo Hwan’s coup d’état in 1981 until the 1987 June Uprising; Roh Tae Woo’s presidency in 1988 until after Kim Yong Sam’s presidency in 1997; the IMF crisis during the Kim Dae Jung Presidency until after the Roh Moo Hyun presidency; Lee Myung Bak’s presidency; and finally, the current period of the President Park Presidency.
The moment of silence for fallen comrades that marks all Korean social movement events.
Present Worker’s Struggles: Cort Guitar Worker’s struggle against their unjust mass layoffs.
Visit http://cortaction.wordpress.com/ for more on their campaign.
A worker’s choir, made up of leaders from four active worker’s struggles,
sings “March for the Beloved”
As the event draws to a close, bereaved families, fellow comrades, and the next generation line up to pay their respects with silence, reflection, burnt incense, and chrysanthemums.
Comrades honor martyrs by still “marching to that new day:” Protestors are confronted with police as they attempt to break through the police barricade and march in solidarity to current active sites of struggle.