The Korea Herald


Police vow stern action against 'Occupy' protests in Seoul


Published : Oct. 14, 2011 - 21:43

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Police vowed Friday to take stern action against any illegal protesters as scores of local civil rights and labor groups moved to launch massive rallies in sympathy with the ongoing anti-Wall Street demonstrations in New York.

Taking their cue from the "Occupy Wall Street" rally in Manhattan, about 400 local civic and labor rights groups are set to stage a local version of the rally at about 6:00 p.m. on Friday in the plaza in front of the Seoul City Hall in central Seoul.

Other civic groups that battle economic injustice, including SpecWatch Korea and the People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, are also set to launch another gathering in Yeouido, the main financial district of Seoul, Saturday afternoon.

The U.S. rally, now being held in Zuccotti Park in the financial district of Manhattan, has inspired similar gatherings overseas, fueling protests against economic inequalities and corporate greed, especially by deep-pocketed financial firms.

Ahead of the demonstration here set for Friday evening, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said, "If the rally transforms into a illegal (demonstration), the police will take strict action."

Although demonstrators' rights to protest should be guaranteed to the maximum level, the police will hold criminally responsible those who illegally occupy public streets, assault riot police or launch rallies without prior notice, the Seoul police said.

During Friday's rally, protesters plan to hold a street demonstration, sessions for a open forum and speeches under the banner of an "angry 99 percent that stands against the 1 percent" of wealthy who are in control.

(Yonhap News)