Six dead, many injured and arrested after police attack protestors near American Military Base.
Yongsan in Seoul is to be "redeveloped", that is gentrified. This is effecting not only residents, but many small family-run businesses in the area. Members of the Committee of Residents Forced Out of Yongsan District 4 in Seoul and the National Coalition of Forcefully Relocated People decided on Jan. 19 to occupy a building in protest. The developers want to build an International Monetary Center there.
The next morning, Jan. 20, the SWAT team commandos attacked before at 6:45 AM. About 1300 police were mobilized into action against the 40 people in the building. About 100 commandos landed on the roof.
It is not clear what happened next. Police claim that protestors were throwing Molotov cocktails and somehow the roof caught on fire because of this. But anybody who can recall a few similar situations know that police have been know to set fires on rooftops to get the occupants out. The place went up in flames. 5 protestors and one cop died. 28 people were arrested. 23 are injured, some seriously.
Families wanted to see the bodies of the victims but they were carried away without their consent. It looks as if many of the victims were middle-aged, the oldest victim a 70-year old man. A large demonstration was held that night and demonstrators clashed with police. http://www.newscham.net/news/view.php?board=news&nid=51283
Disputes over gentrification are becoming more and more frequent in Seoul. There is a lot of corruption and money involved and poor and working class residents are often screwed as they are displaced usually with only a paltry compensation.
(Thanks to Kumokor for information.)