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The King Baeksu counterblast to Amnesty International

Mad Cow Protests
Protesters light up their candles in downtown Seoul, 3 May 2008. By Blogger 샛길(Set-gil) – 너무나 뜨거운 광우병 쇠고기 수입 반대 촛불집회 열기 (Korean), CC BY-SA 2.0 kr, Link

J Scott Burgeson, aka Scott Bug, aka King Baeksu, has been monitoring the anti-FTA mad cow protests in Seoul pretty much nightly since they started. He’s been filing some detailed and extended eyewitness accounts over on his bulletin board.

A week or so ago Amnesty International called for the “excessive force” used by South Korean police “against peaceful protestors” to be “investigated thoroughly”. A couple of other human rights organisations joined Amnesty’s ranks this week.

Burgeson’s firsthand accounts suggest that Amnesty have got it the wrong way round.

As Burgeson asks: when will the madness end?

Update 20 July 2020: King Baeksu’s site seems now to be irretrievably lost, and the relevant pages not archived in the Wayback Machine. Jeffery Hodges, the Gypsy Scholar, also refers to Burgeson’s essay in his blog here.

3 thoughts on “The King Baeksu counterblast to Amnesty International

  1. Hello Philip, how are you?

    Thanks for the link, and I hope it helps.

    Interestingly, there are several left-leaning K-blogs run by expats or non-Korean scholars who continue to shill for these protesters, and they refuse to add any comments I leave on their sites which are critical of the protests.

    In other words, these so-called progressive democrats are just as intolerant of dissenting views as the protesters have proven themselves to be. Censorship over freedom of speech seems to be the order of their day.

    Ironically enough, I’ve found The Marmot’s Hole to be far more tolerant of dissenting views than these so-called liberal blogs.

    What a strange world we live in!

  2. Yes, I read the thread at the Marmot’s Hole, and noted that the discussion was more open and less intolerant than things often are over there (bearing in mind the heated series of comments that I had to delete from my own site when some of the Marmot loonies came here for a while)

    Norma Kang Muico, who is quoted in the Amnesty press release, is often to be seen at Chatham House and elsewhere in London. It’ll be interesting to see if she will be presenting these preliminary findings in any of the usual forums. There could be some lively discussion.

  3. Hi Philip, well, assuming there is a lively discussion over there in London, really, only people who were at the demonstrations should be allowed to comment on them one way or the other, at least as far as the violence issue is concerned. I’ve noticed that people who have only seen them second-hand through the media have rather skewed views depending on their sources, ideology and whatnot.

    Personally, I was hit twice in the head at close range by police spraying fire extinguishers, which blinded me for 30 seconds one time and also broke my digital camera because of all the dust. Another time, a riot policeman hit me in the back of the head with a bag of kimchi of all things. However, I take this as coming with the territory and do not blame the police at all. I was also up front at the barricades repeatedly, and it was always very easy to get out of the way and avoid either the water cannons or any other crowd dispersal techniques such as police shields or batons.

    Basically, if a few bad apples among the protesters got hit by a riot policeman’s shield or club, they probably were asking for it and in all likelihood were instigating the violence themselves, because as I say, it was always very easy to avoid the police reactions if that was what you wanted to do.

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