Demands of Yongsan Evictees to the Seoul Metropolitan Government

 

1. Seoul Metropolitan Government’s responsibility regarding the Yongsan Massacre

The Seoul Metropolitan Government is primarily responsible of the Yongsan Massacre, in which six people (5 evictees and 1 police officer) were burnt to death during police operation.

First of all, the Yongsan Massacre is the result of Seoul’s attempts to speed through its sumptuous and large-scale re-development project in Yongsan. Yongsan has been designated by Seoul to be developed into a ‘new downtown’ as an international business district. During the last thirty years, Seoul had implemented huge development projects amounting to twice the size of Seoul, and particularly during the last few years, development projects received a boost under the name of building ‘New Towns’ and ‘re-development’. Seoul has now become one big construction ground, where the poor have nowhere to go. The Yongsan Massacre was the result of these mass development projects.

Secondly, the re-development association (association of new land owners) mobilized thugs employed by building demolition companies, who had constantly threatened the tenants for months. The lodgers had suffered from and complained about the constant threats and violence, and were in danger of being evicted without any alternative settlement measure. However, the Yongsan District Office and Seoul government, which have reconstruction permit and licensing authority as well as supervision obligations, ignored the lodgers, saying the problem should be solved by ‘related parties’ alone, pushing the crisis to the extremes.

Even after the deaths of the evictees, the local government still did not respond. When the evictees requested the re-development project to be stopped, Seoul’s deputy mayor replied, “Time is money. We can no longer delay demolition of the area.” His words spoke for the interests of large construction companies, bringing out the cruelty of those greedy for profit.

 

2. Problems of Seoul’s ‘solutions’

On 1st July, Seoul announced that public entities will now lead all re-development and reconstruction efforts, which until now had been led by private corporations.

It is deplorable that Seoul had merely come up with such measure without any mention of the Yongsan Massacre, even though six months have passed since the incident. Seoul still refuses to give its position on the Yongsan Massacre. Under these circumstances, one can only doubt the sincerity of this new ‘policy’.

The fundamental problem with Seoul’s new re-housing policy is that it does not include any measures regarding re-settlement of original inhabitants, and in particular, there is no mention of any guarantee of housing for the tenants, who account for 70% of the dwellers in the Yongsan Re-development District #4, where the massacre took place. The plan uses the term ‘public management’, however, it is void of genuinely reformative measures such as construction of public housing, support for re-settlement of original inhabitants, support for tenants etc..

Furthermore, on 10th June, Seoul’s advisory council proposed various housing measures such as expansion of cheaper housing and more support for housing for the poor, however, the city government did not include these proposals in its final plan. Seoul did mention that it will provide procedures to control the demand and supply in the re-development areas, however, this measure will do nothing to tackle the real estate bubble and ensure cheaper housing.  

Seoul had also retrogressively revised other related laws in short, Seoul housing and construction policies do nothing to guarantee housing rights of tenants. Rather, it is exacerbating the disadvantage of tenants in the re-development zones.

3. Demands to the Seoul government

The evictees who were killed, were not protesting simply for more monetary compensation. They were making very basic, justifiable and yet desperate demands that tenant shop-owners be provided with temporary shops and that they be allowed to re-settle after the re-development, so that they can continue to make their living. Their demands were for their basic survival.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government must publicly state its will to resolve the Yongsan Massacre, and the mayor must make a sincere apology for the deaths.

An audit should be implemented into the re-development association of Yongsan District #4 as well as into the Yongsan District Office, where there are suspicions of corruption and collusion.

Seoul should proactively come up with housing and livelihood measures, including temporary shops so that evicted shop owners can resume their livelihood.

The city government must also come up with ways to compensate and make reparations to the family members of those who were sacrificed and injured.

 

Total 110

Union Members' Lives are at Stake!

admin Aug 05, 2009 Hits 100698

Stop Brutal Raid against the Ssangyong Motor Workers! Our Union Members' Lives are at Stake! Please see video : http://www.tagstory.com/video/video_post.aspx?media_id=V000348803 For full text, please open the attached document - Ssangyong_August_5_Update.doc Yesterday, the co...

We need Water, Food and Medical Attention!! - Urgent appeal from Ssangyong Motor workers

admin Jul 30, 2009 Hits 102469

Urgent Appeal for Solidarity! Stop suppression of Ssangyong Motor workers’ strike! Lift the blockade! Negotiate! Police and management deny strikers access to food, water, medical treatment 29 July 2009 Update The 20 July police and management raid on the Korean Metal Workers’ Uni...

Justice for Yongsan Evictees : Demands of Yongsan Evictees to the Seoul Metropolitan Government

admin Jul 30, 2009 Hits 110732

Demands of Yongsan Evictees to the Seoul Metropolitan Government 1. Seoul Metropolitan Government’s responsibility regarding the Yongsan Massacre The Seoul Metropolitan Government is primarily responsible of the Yongsan Massacre, in which six people (5 evictees and 1 police o...

Disciplinary Action against KTU’s State-of-Affairs Declaration is Violation of Freedom of Speech

admin Jul 30, 2009 Hits 97488

Disciplinary Action against KTU’s State-of-Affairs Declaration is Violation of Freedom of Speech On 18th June, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) announced that it will impose disciplinary measures on Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union (KTU), in fac...

ITUC Urges to End brutal Attack against the striking workers of Ssangyong Motors

admin Jul 30, 2009 Hits 102693

INTERNATIONAL TRADE UNION CONFEDERATION (ITUC) ITUC OnLine 123/270709 Korea: Brutal attack against the Ssangyong Motors Branch workers Brussels, 28 July 2009: In a letter ( http://www.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/Protest_-_RE_police_violence_against_striking_workers_-_24-07-09.pdf ) last ...

Photos on Brutal Violence of Riot Police against the Ssangyong Workers

admin Jul 22, 2009 Hits 130967

( For full photos, please open the attached. Below are the some photos among them.) Additional Materials (Photos) Supporting Concerns for Safety of Person and Rights of striking Ssangyong Motor workers 22 July 2009 Update - New photos show excessive use of force by police...

[Press Statement] KCTU Launching General Strike as of 22nd July!

admin Jul 22, 2009 Hits 98762

[Press Statement on General Strike] KCTU Initiates General Strike and Sit-In Protest! Stop police suppression of Ssangyong Motors strike! Stop retrogressive revisions to labour and media laws! The KCTU announces that all affiliate unions will go on general strike as of 22n...

Call to Action : Stop Police Suppression against the Striking workers of Ssangyong Motors!

admin Jul 21, 2009 Hits 91236

Stop Police Suppression against the Striking workers of Ssangyong Motors! Unionist’s wife is driven to her death… How many more have to die? "Lay-offs are Murder!" The KCTU firmly condemns the police clamp-down on striking workers of Ssangyong Motors, which restarted in the ...

Tides of Democracy in South Korea Turning Back!

admin Jul 09, 2009 Hits 190499

Tides of Democracy in South Korea Turning Back! - Guarantee Trade Union Rights for Precarious Workers! In the wake of the 1997 Economic Crisis, rapid casualization of the work force ensued so that precarious workers (contract; dispatched; part-time; and “specially-employed” otherw...

Stop suppressing democracy and basic labor rights right now

admin May 26, 2009 Hits 239921

Stop suppressing democracy and basic labor rights right now The KCTU’s position over the May 16th massive arrest Democracy and human rights are in retreat in South Korea. With extreme violent acts, the Korean government and the police are tramping upon democracy, human r...

XE Login