July 29, 2009 is day 10 (corrected: the police assault began July 20). Medical workers and other community solidarity supporters attempted to deliver water to the factory in the morning. In the afternoon KCTU organized a rally of 3,000, only to have it attacked by as many as 10 helicopters dropping bags of toxic tear gas, in addition to 500 riot cops attacking the demonstrators and watercanon trucks spraying teargas on them.
***Update July 29, 2009***
Continued police presence around Ssangyong factory:
Coalition of groups (religious, NGOs, progressive parties, etc.) in solidarity with strikers, hold a rally near factory gates:
Medical workers attempt to deliver water to strikers: Police helicopter overhead:
The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) organized a solidarity demonstration in downtown Pyeongtaek in order to demand "humanitarian aid" to the strikers, but the government banned the demo because they claimed the previous rally on July 25 turned "violent."
As many as 10 helicopters hovered as low as 30 meters above the crowd: While dropping bags of the mixture of tear gas and other corrosive chemicals:
The demonstration was broken up, so the crowd attempted to march to the Ssangyong factory gates. Once the crowd approached the factory, they met an unprovoked attack by 2 watercanon trucks which sprayed them with water mixed with tear gas: And helicopters also continued to bombard the demonstrators with bags of the toxic teargas mixture:
Even a Korean Democratic Labor Party (KDLP) senator (center, with beard) on the march was hit with a bag of teargas:
Around 500 riot cops attacked the crowd, chasing some into nearby fields:
The families of the factory occupiers continued their vigil outside the factory gates throughout the evening: Where they were joined by the student section of KDLP for a candlelight vigil:
Doctors and other medical workers joined the vigil and decried the heath crisis the police have created in preventing medical treatment or vital supplies from going into the factory. They pointed out combatants in war don't prevent enemies from attending to their wounded.
Here's a report from the July 29, 2009 Korea Times, which is published by the same company as the bourgeois Hankook Ilbo:
[quote]Ssangyong Factory Turning Into "Refugee Camp"
By Park Si-soo
The fired workers, who have occupied the paint shop of a Ssangyong Motor factory for 68 days, are living in dismal conditions as they have been denied food and water for about a week.
Visitors to the building, including doctors and medical staff said the situation will turn worse as dozens are already injured and around 10 occupants are suffering from depression.
"It's like a refugee camp," said Baek Nam-joon, a member of a humanitarian doctors' association. "Protesters have been living in a hell-like environment."
Baek said a sour, acid smell is lingering inside the building following days of tear-gas spraying by police helicopters.
"It was hard to breathe," he said. Many of them are exposed to dehydration as drinking water was drying up. Doctors estimated that 200 were injured.
"Six of them need an immediate surgery or medical care. Many have severe injuries, including broken ribs or joints incurred during clashes with riot police."
According to Baek, they are given one or two rice balls per day. "Toilets are in dismal condition as the water supply has been cut off."
Hundreds of protesters have complained of a lack of sleep, he said.
"They sleep just two or three hours a day as police helicopters above the building generate unbearable noise."
Lee Chang-geun, spokesman for the unionized protesters, said noise from helicopters and speakers installed nearby the building was adding to the terrible conditions. "We have no food, no water and no sleep."
The workers are also facing damage suits that could deprive them of all their remaining assets.
The company said Wednesday it will seek compensation of 5 billion won from the occupants in a damage suit, raising the cumulative amount to 15 billion won.
Meanwhile, Ssangyong creditors will submit a petition for early liquidation to the Seoul Central District Court. The court has set Sept. 15 as a deadline for the company's management to submit a self-rescue plan to avoid liquidation.
Choi Byeong-hoon, spokesman for the creditors said, "We have reached an accord that liquidating the firm is a better option than waiting until the deadline."
The petition will be submitted by Aug. 5.
Choi said they will also file a compensation suit against the company, saying the production stoppage inflicted about 89 billion won ($71.7 million) in losses to creditors.
Despite the warning, no development has been made in labor-management talks since the first round of negotiations broke down Saturday.
The two sides have not moved from their original positions on key issues. The union is demanding the cancellation of the layoffs, while management said it would not begin talks until that demand was dropped.
What is meant by
What is meant by this?:
That the workers have a share in the company? Or they will not get compensation for repudiation? Or that their personal property and money could be lost because of the damages they are causing by occupying the factory?
Anyway - is anyone here working on some solidarity protests. Any organisations people here are part of? Has anyone thought of the idea of for example informing trade unions in their countries? Any ideas for actions on economic level? Or any other ideas?
I just feel like people are just reading the usual everyday news about what is going on...
Here is an update written by
Here is an update written by a worker from a local plant, who is supporting the occupation, e-mailed to us by Loren Goldner:
Quote: What is meant by
South Korean courts can issue injunctions that not only seize union assets, but individual worker's assets and garnish their wages as well.
Last week a woman committed suicide; her husband was a worker who was an official in the union and not laid off. But he went out on strike and occupied the factory in solidarity with the laid off workers. Government and company representatives constantly visited her and harassed her with the threat that the court would seize her home and the family's bank account. She couldn't take it any longer and killed herself.
Are the KCTU or other bodies
Are the KCTU or other bodies asking for international solidarity?
The second they say they need it, people will respond, but we need to know that they are asking for it.
On July 28, 2009, a small
On July 28, 2009, a small group held a demo in front of the South Korean Consulate in San Francisco. Sadly, it was very poorly organized and even more poorly promoted.
Here's the Indymedia post:
LETTER TO LOREN: Quote: On
LETTER TO LOREN:
20th JULY NEWS - http://libcom.org/forums/news/ssangyong-factory-occupation-raided-riot-police-27062009#comment-335333:
Just in case someone would need to have the clarification if the number is 4 or 5...