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'My non-violent action will continue'
Activist Song Kang Ho explains why he will not abandon his peaceful battle against the construction of a naval base.
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2011 14:41
Activist Song Kang Ho resorted to swimming to the part of the island where he normally prays when the construction site blocked his land route [Ana de Sousa]

Song Kang Ho is an activist opposed to the construction of one of the world's largest naval bases on the South Korean island of Jeju. Here he explains why he will continue his form of non-violent action regardless of the consequences.

On October 6, 2011, Samsung carried out an experimental explosion on the west side of the Gureombi rock on the island of Jeju. Many villagers from Gangjeong, the village at the centre of the battle between activists opposed to the construction of a naval base and the South Korean government, strongly oppose this explosion. But the navy did not notify the village or the activists, nor did it inform the island's government, its council or the five opposition parties before the event.

Only a few female divers who are in favour of the naval base were given prior notice because the blast would interrupt their sea-diving works in the water.

When I saw what was going on at the construction site, I was so angry that I lost the words to speak.

Since coming to Gangjeong, I have always prayed and meditated on the Gureombi rock in the early hours of the morning - continuing to do so even when all of the normal routes there were blocked by the navy or police. 

But every morning I have faced a struggle. When the navy or police block the land routes to the rock, my only option was to swim there.

Then, on October 9, I was arrested by the navy and delivered to Seogwipo police station, where I prayed as I usually do on the Gureombi rock.

I am not the only one who faces a threat from the national power.

I will continue swimming, praying and receiving the countless fines they issue to me. And I will continue to follow my heart and take action in Gangjeong regardless of whether the navy calls me a "crazy guy". Some have carried out a lot of violence, but my non-violent direct and indirect action will continue. 

Source:
Al Jazeera
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