Day1 w/Farmers (12/12)
mamakim called with some updates:
This was their first day of action WITH the farmers. It was very eventful. Their day began waking up at 5am or so and it was 10:30 at night when I received the call and it seemed like most of them were just starting to head back to lodging. They haven’t had a bite to eat since lunch and have been on their feet all day long.
300 farmers decided to jump into the water to go around the WTO police barricade. Yulsan and D joined the action. Yulsan succeeded(congratulations!) in crossing the harbor with many of the farmers but D I heard didn’t make it. I was very shocked because having fished with him I know that he can’t swim at all! But it’s all good, they wore life-jackets! I can’t wait to hear from them directly what it was like to jump into the icy December HK water. You can also click here to see some of it.
The day’s actions were very successful and non-violent. Everywhere the people and media are clamoring/expecting for the Korean farmers to “do something”. Even before their arrival the media had painted them as 'violent' and 'instigators'. The Korean farmers are pretty upset! The KCTU [Korean Confederation of Trade Unions--the unions that are independent of the government] contingent did clash with the police and some were hospitalized.
The KEEP participants are taking on a more significant role than planned. This first day KEEP requested to stay together with one group of farmers but starting tomorrow they will be separated by teams to different Jun-nong contingents to provide translation. Mamakim asked me to say that EVERYONE is doing well and adrenaline is on full-pump mode!
They moved lodging so internet is scarce but will keep on writing and will post whenever possible.