Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon pleaded with a disability rights advocacy group for an end to rush-hour subway protests, stressing that the yearslong rallies have caused serious disruption to public transportation and Seoul citizens’ daily lives.
“Seoul citizens have gone through many inconveniences, so I’d like to ask if the disability rights advocacy group could refrain from disrupting the operation of major lines,” Oh said during a meeting with the group held at the Seoul Metropolitan Government on Thursday.
“Citizens have reached their limit in enduring the protests as they are becoming more extreme. I’m afraid they will turn their back on them,” Oh added.
However, Park Kyoung-seok, chief of Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination, said that the rallies were showcased to ask the municipal government to apologize for having poor facilities at subway stations.
“We’ve been insisting on installing elevators in all subway stations, but that hasn’t been met yet. We want the city government to apologize for not keeping such promises,” Park said.
Oh has pointed out that elevators have been added to 95 percent of Seoul's subway stations, and that the city government is continuing with its plan to install them in all those that still lack them.
Despite unfriendly glances from commuters, the disabled activists have demonstrated 84 times since December 2021, urging the central and city governments to increase their budgets and provide measures to improve mobility rights.