Sunday, March 1, 2009

Media is the new U.S. beef

About ten years ago the government turned Yeouido asphalt slab into Yeouido Park. By the time I arrived in Seoul, it had become a lovely, verdant spot redolent of cherry blossoms in the springtime and the far less appealing beondegi (silk worm larvae) whenever food vendors set up to serve the passersby. I've heard the impetus for cultivating the park was the government's hope to squelch mass demonstrations by civic groups that had become frequent occurrences on Yeouido asphalt slab.

If that were truly the goal, however, perhaps they shouldn't have left a sizable amount of asphalt in the middle. Most days just bikers, rollerbladers, and basketball players occupy the space, but anytime the country becomes ripe with government distaste (which seems to occur frequently), the park revisits its past. The hot button issue of the month is a set of controversial media reform bills, which include the government and ruling party's plan to privatize the broadcasting sector (something I might even be convinced to fight against if protesting were my thing--instead, I just take pictures). Home to the nation's three top broadcasters and the parliament building, Yeouido was the perfect spot for unionists and other activists to gather Saturday afternoon for a good old fashioned protest. At least it's not about U.S. beef this time!



jazzkevin said...

Interesting story and video. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that the U.S. beef thing finally died down, if there were some accountability about truth in broadcasting there would never have been an issue in the first place I believe. Thx for the pix and story....

John (PIA)

Melanie said...

Protests are good when used without violence. Whatever their beliefs are I respect them.

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