14 February 2009

Yongsan Riot

You may or may not be aware of the fact that there was a recent clash between police and protesters in Yongsan (News Story). Six people died including one policeman.

The protesters blame the police and the police blame the protesters for the loss of life. Footage I've seen show the police using fire hoses and the protesters using Molotov Cocktails, draw your own conclusions.

Here's a picture from the front steps

They taped off the steps and so everyone had to cram onto the escalator. Those white buses are police buses and they're blocking off two of the lanes. There were several more in the area. Every black figure in the picture is a policeman and there are large groups of them off to both sides.

The fire was about two blocks away from here.

Burned out Building

I'm fairly sure that this is the building that the police and the protesters were fighting over. Note the smashed windows and the fact that the roof collapsed on the right side.

Another view of the building

Here's the other side of the Building
Burned out Police Bus in the lower left hand corner

Here's a better view of the burned out bus

There were police all over this area, the vast majority of which are the conscript units that you see at every demonstration. I also saw a unit of older and tougher riot police and I suspect that this is the special unit that they break out to show that they're serious.

I'm constantly surprised by the number of demonstrations that I stumble upon in Korea and also by how violent some of them get. I haven't been near any that have gotten this bad, yet.

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