Koreans from the US, protesting WTO meetings in Hong Kong with Korean farmers... And writing about the experience.

Friday, December 09, 2005

on the ground

i will write this narrative and prose style, my usual m.o.

so the first of our delegates arrived late last night. it was roughest for the l.a. folks, as they had 3 legs to contend with. i joined them in on their second leg, from san francisco. i will let them tell their tale of being herded like cattle themselves...

the flight sucked ass. the seating was completely inadequate, even for small ass me. it's no wonder united air went bankrupt. just bad, all around. the good part of the trip to japan was that our flight got in an hour or so early, so we had a bit of reprieve from the crappy airplane. we then met up with someone from new york in narita airport, and had hot dogs and other interesting japanese treats. on our final leg, we also met up with a few folks from l.a. it was nice to gain strength this way - picking up allies along the way.

subway rides and transfers, and we finally got up to our stop. it was exciting to finally reach hong kong, in all of its hustle and bustle. indeed, it was after midnight and the city was still pulsating. cars honking, people everywhere, double-decker buses and cabs roaring in the night. it felt great to finally reach our destination after 18+ hours of travel. it reminded us of korea - the late-night open food stands (pojangmachangs) and neon-lit stores.

today we got up early, had breakfast and began scoping out the scene with everyone. we trekked to victoria park, and had a security briefing with the hong kong people's alliance. i left early cuz one of our folks was illin'. poor dude. to get sick on the first day. hopefully this will pass by the time we meet the farmers and begin the protest in earnest. while i i'm sitting and writing, other are finalizing some logistical details. we need to prepare signs for the farmers, for us, and the protest. last minute lodging arrangements also need to be clarified. the little details can come bite you on your ass when you least expect it.

i am excited for the rest of our crew to join us. hopefully, we will have ironed out the hairy details be then. however, we will continually be bogged down by the pesky little details. to be continued tomorrow perhaps... i am even more excited to finally meet up with our beloved farmers. i heard the latest numbers of the korean contingent will top 4,000. they are expected to lead the entire protest. i feel so honored and humbled to participate in their movement. we in the u.s. have so much to learn from the koreans and the rest of the world. their struggle is in an utmost critical situation - it's literally do or die. what the hell are they going to do, how are they going to live if they can no longer farm their land? the effects of globalization is a daily reality, as more and more farmers are forced to give up the only way of life they have ever known because of liberalized markets, dumping practices, and the like by the "most developed nations." the south korean puppet government cares only to protect its status as a pseudo-developed nation. they don't give a shit about how these regs affect hundreds of thousands of farmers intheir own country. will the government provide other means of life after they pass these laws and regs supporting neoliberalized markets? hell no. so the farmers push back, demaning to preserve their livelihood. and they have built up a powerful movement to back their shit up. and the world is behind them. i just hope that will be enough.

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