Ssangyong occupation update: August 5, 2009

Ssangyong occupation update: August 5, 2009

The final battle will come shortly. Serious injuries occurred today. The only remaining occupied factory building is the paint department, with about 500 strikers defending it. The cops have taken control of all the rest of the surrounding buildings. The crackdown on the strikers has been extremely brutal.

***Update August 5, 2009 4:30 p.m. (Korea time)***

Condition of workers mentioned in previous thread: one fell going from roof to roof and broke his vertebrae, as well as head injuries. Serious, but not life-threatening. 2 others fell from roof, but injuries were not as serious. But 30 others, on both sides, were injured and needed medical attention.

The paint building is the only one still occupied by strikers. It is in the middle of all the red circles, with the "2" in it.

Injured combatant: Fucking bullseye!Some kind of stun or dart guns:

The news we've gotten seems to indicate that the fighting has calmed for now. A few more strikers left the occupation today. The chief of police has promised more lenient sentences for those turning themselves in before August 6. More reports, with hopefully more details of the condition of the approximately 500 remaining strikers barricaded in the last occupied building of the paint department, coming soon...

Posted By

Aug 5 2009 07:35


Attached files


Aug 5 2009 09:05

Good luck comrades.

Aug 5 2009 15:51

For the earliest August 5 update, with gruesome videos of the cop attacks on the roof, see kbysf's post on the August 4 occupation update thread here.

If you want to see the intensity of the battle, click on the links to the 3 videos there.

Like the brutal SWAT team attack on a building of local residents fighting gentrification in Seoul (see libcom report here) on January 20, 2009, resulting in 6 deaths, the specially-trained police commandos at Ssangyong were also packed into armored metal containers and lowered onto the roof by cranes (as can be seen in kbysf's post, linked above). At least 2 of these containers were able to be lowered onto the roof, with around 50 cops able to burst out from each to attack the strikers.

The only remaining occupied building is paint shop #2. The cops were able to take paint shop #1 by lowering riot pigs onto the roof by helicopter; they rappelled by rope to avoid devices strikers had erected to prevent helicopter landings.

Aug 5 2009 15:27

statement of the union:

Today, police helicopters dropped two containers of SWAT team members onto the roof of the assembly plant building (adjacent to paintshop). They began to rush out and assault union members who were on the roof of the assembly line building.

See Hangyoreh Newspaper reporter video: _

Two union members who were being chased by SWAT team members on the roof of the assembly building fell off the building and plummeted to the ground. A fire broke out in the assembly line building which is connected to the paintshop building by third floor walkway.

We are afraid the fire could spread to the paint shop.

- One of the union members who plummeted to the ground during this operation has head, neck and back injuries, particularly to vertebrae 3 and 4. Second one has injuries to arms and legs

Photo: Media Chungcheong

- Another union member (in his early 40s) was shot directly in the head and lost consciousness. He woke up in the hospital needing 20 stitches to his head. The doctor believes he was shot at close range with a rubber bullet.

- Another union member (in his late 30s) was dodging water cannon fire, and let his wooden shelter (used as shield) spread open a little and was promptly hit in the chest with a large nut with enough force to cause a fracture in his ribs

Union member injuries:

- Electrical shock by taser gun
- Shot by rubber bullet fired by what police call a “multipurpose launcher”
- Head split open
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injury (falling off building roof)
- Riot police boots and curmudgeon and sharpened edges of riot police shields

Some injured members were taken to the hospital.

Doctor at Anseong Hospital said that patients are in critical condition requiring hospitalization.

But riot police arrested the patients and dragged them to police station for questioning briefly having open wounds stitched together.

Meanwhile the company forces (goons and private security forces) rushed out of the plant around 9 am to clear out the union supporters encamped in front of the plant.

They began beating people with wooden sticks and steel pipes, pulling people away from the group of supporters and ripping apart our tents again.

Management thugs raid the solidarity encampment in front of the plant

And destroy union vehicles

(smashed doors and windows of KMWU van)

When student movement came to our aid, the company forces backed off and the riot police cleared out the students with teargas-laced water cannons.

The raid is ongoing.

Korean Metal Workers’ Union members are hanging in there and the strike-attacking forces have been unable to enter the paintshop 2 building (the union offices are on the 3rd and 4th floor of the building, the paintshop is on the 1st and 2nd floor).

We already have a near comatose union member with spinal cord injury, a fire in the assembly line building and we have no water for fire-fighting purposes (much less for drinking or washing).

The fact that the Korean government is even attempting this raid at all in spite of the extremely dangerous situation is excessive if not lethal behavior. The continued denial of food, water, proper medical care is an ongoing human rights violation.

The non-State actors (private forces directed by the company) have no authority to use force much less beat women and unionists on the sidewalk outside the plant.

We desperately need ILO to make some second letter or call or some kind of intervention asking Korean government:

— to call off this extraordinarily dangerous raid!
- and participate in negotiations over alternatives to dismissal and a future for the plant .

Our union members’ lives are at stake.

- Any solidarity demonstrations taken as international solidarity action should take place in front of the Korean Embassy with the above two demands.

- We also appreciate it if you use any other diplomatic channels possible to ask the Korean government to stop the raid and participate in or foster negotiations

Please send us photos of your action so we can let the workers inside the plant know ! ! !

Aug 5 2009 16:16

The link above for the Hankyoreh newspaper video doesn't work (it's the same clip that kbysf posted in the previous thread).

Try this:

It shows a metal container being lowered onto the car assembly building, with the SWAT team who were in it then ruthlessly attacking strikers.

More videos:

This one shows the cops repelling by helicopter onto a roof:

Aug 5 2009 18:57

The paint shop #2, the only remaining occupied building, is the light blue building below:

Aug 5 2009 20:00

Keep Fighting..
Maybe we will hear this in some mainstream media, or maybe not.
Just keep fighting

Aug 5 2009 20:02

solidarity comrades.

Aug 5 2009 20:49

Our local paper Belfast Telegraph had a short piece today on workplace occupations and pics from Visteon Belfast and Vestas Isle of Wight, and then putting them both in perspective, pics of burning buildings at the Ssangyong occupation.

Aug 5 2009 22:01

Another tool to spread urgency of action:

Aug 5 2009 22:27

AlJazeera report says hundreds of commandos were lowered onto the paint building