About 200 organizations have registered to demonstrate during the summit, including labor unions, the physically challenged and former navy commandos who say they plan to set cars and oil tankers on fire nearby.If I were protesting something (and I'm blessed that I have so few things to protest — other than the sucky economy), I'd eschew harming animals or pyromaniacal destruction of others' property and just walk around in a codpiece. They'd call me 주머니맨 and I'd probably make the evening news.
Few of the organizations have gripes with world leaders, but they aim to grab the international stage to air their grievances with the South Korean government. The commandoes, for instance, want bigger pensions.
Volatile South Korea is often called the Protest Republic. With a population of just under 50 million, it averages 12,000 protests a year, by far the most of any nation in Asia, according to National Police Agency statistics.
Many protests in South Korea feature such theatrical tactics as animal sacrifices, torch burnings, flag-eating, dummy decapitations and feces hurling. Last month, one anti-government protester set himself on fire. Then there was the man who covered himself with bees.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Ready for the world
John Glionna of the Los Angeles Times has an article highlighting South Korea's perpetual protestors and their hope that the global spotlight on Seoul during the G20 summit will shine on them as well: