The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Kifaya protest in Seoul

There is an email making the rounds that details a Kifaya protest by Korea's All-Together movement outside of the Egyptian Embassy in Seoul. All-Together was protesting in solidarity with Egypt's Kifaya movement.

I am not sure what this means but it is amusing to think of the Egyptian Ambassador sitting in his office fuming as he reassures the foreign ministry that it is really nothing (MaFesh Hagga, Yanni).

Oh, how traumatic it is not to have Central Security Forces at one's disposal to contain the crowds and beat on people from time to time.


Here is the email and some pictures:
Dear friends and comrades,
On 9 June, 2005, 11:00am, a diverse group of anti-war and human rights activists gathered in front of the Egytian Embassy in Seoul to demonstrate against Egyptian dictator Mubarak.
Because the the domestic law forbiding any protest in front of foreign diplomatic offices, the group called it a press conference. People began the protest by chanting "Down Down Mubarak","24 years is enough", "Kifaya! Kifaya", "Victory to the Egyptian People's Struggle for Democracy!" The ambassador refused to see us. But we made sure that he will be seeing us more often as long as Mubarak and his son is in power. It seems South Korea is far away from Egypt and no one here will be interested in what is going on in Egypt. It is far from truth. Although not much of the situation in Egypt is reported in the mainstream media, when South Koreans hear about the Kifaya movement and Mubarak's desperate attempts to keep his power, they immediately make a connection to their past military rulers.
Yes, South Koreans have seen their ruler putting forth political reforms that are nothing more than shams to maintain control. If they did not all, military rulers resorted to brutal violence. A prime example is the Kwangju Massacre where citizens of Kwangju city were shot to death by the army. It seems the rulers all over the world are learning from each other on how to control the people.This is why it is utmost important that people struggling for democracy build strong international solidarity and learn from each other. South Koreans' democratization movement have shown that it is possible to defeat the military dictator. With courageous demonstrations and strikes, the Egyptian working people have shown South Koreans what is at stake and what must be achieved, a better world where working people manage their lives and society in true democracy.
On behalf of the South Korean anti-war and human rights activists I wish a grand victory to the Egyptian working people fighting for democracy and real change.
International solidarity,
CJ Park, All Together



As Neil Young sings, "Keep on Rockin in the Free World"