CJ Park

South Korean beef protests

Issue section: 

What began as a mass protest against the new right wing government's decision to resume US beef imports entered a new stage when around a million protesters took to the streets nationwide in South Korea on 10 June.

They demanded "complete renegotiation" of the deal and "[President] Lee Myung-bak out" of the four month old government.

It surprised not only South Korean society but the world with the spontaneity and creativity demonstrated by youth and students who are often labelled as "apolitical". The protests quickly grew into a broader movement for democracy and against pro-business reforms like privatisation of water, gas, electricity, health and education.

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