Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Forgetting history without thorough investigation is another form of evil

Lessons from Kwangju, South Korea
Yung Suk Kim

Today is May 18, 2018. 
38 years ago today, I was a protesting student against Chun's military rule. Remember Gwangju.
Whenever I think about that day or those days when Chun Doo-hwan demolished democratic voices, my blood erupts again. 

I remember watching a violent video showing deadly cruel attacks on innocent young protesters at Gwangju, South Korea, in 1980, who were against the military Coup whose leader was Chun Doo-hwan. I was a college student at that time in another region and saw all the violent scenes through the video on campus. Some students gathered together in campus and watched the video together. I was also actively participating in anti-government protests in and outside the campus. Even though I was not there in Kwangju when hundreds of innocent protesters were killed and thousands of people were injured, my soul was severely damaged. My blood seemed to erupt reversely.  

In fact, a few weeks ago, a movie called Taxi Driver, which deals with this Gwangju event, was started to play and is being watched by millions of Koreans now. Chun was tried and imprisoned after the democratic government was established in the early 1990s. But he was too easily and fast pardoned by the civilian government. That was too bad. Forgetting history without thorough investigation and justice is another form of evil.

Now Kwangju became a holy site and symbol of Korean democracy. But many people were killed and injured and still many people suffer from it. I want to put below some old pictures that show such horrible scenes of violence and death. Actually, for years these pictures were kept on my hard drive. Justice shouts. No justice, no peace.

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