The Korean Consulate in San Francisco on January 17, 2014 in response to a solidarity rally for Korean Railway Workers Union and the KCTU mobilization on December 18 paid counter-demonstrators to try to stop and intimidate supporters of the Korean working class.
They were infuriated when a banner of the Korean Transport Workers Union was unveiled in front of the Korean consulate in solidarity with Korean Railway Workers Union leaders who have been arrested and bullied by the government. They also physically assaulted a Korean American who was at the rally supporting the Korean workers. The organizing committee set up a defense guard to stop the attempted intimidation and assaults to silence supporters of the Korean workers struggle.
The rally which has been the second since the attack on the KWRU was initiated by the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee brought trade unions and activists from around the bay area. Representatives of the AFT 2121, San Francisco Occupy, and San Francisco Labor Council Social And Economic Justice Committee participated in the rally.
Speakers in support of the KRWU and KCTU tied the Trans Pacifica Partnership TPP and KORUS trade agreements to privatization and attacks on workers in Korea and the US.
Organizers later learned from reporters at the rally that the Korean government had paid mostly elderly women to carry signs supporting the Park government, the National Security Laws and he construction of the Naval Base on JeJu Island. Korean government supporters told Korean labor supporters that they could not put sign up on the fence next to the consulate but put up pro-governmen signs that they had made with support of the Consulate.
Despite physical efforts to push the labor protesters away it was unsuccessful and after an hour the pro-government protesters gave up and were asking the TWSC organizers when the protest could end so they could take their paid pro-government demonstrators home.
Supporters of the solidarity action also told the Korean media that pro-labor demonstrators had been paid to come to the rally and were representing North Korea. They held signs supporting the National Security Law, the construction of the JeJu military base and attacking the Korean workers who are fighting privatization of KORAIL The next mobilization will be on February 25, 2014 when there will be a national action against the Park government in South Korea. The government has used repressive measures against the railway workers, teachers and public worker and the KCTU to stop their opposition of privatization by the Park Geun-hye government.
For more information go to http://www.transportworkers.org