Korea: Raising New Candles against ‘7 Evil Laws.’

While welcoming 2009, Korea has another series of candlelight vigils against the government. The major political party, the Grand National Party, and the government presented new and revised bills. Among citizens, it is called the ‘7 Evil Laws [KR].‘ They are about national security laws, communications track regulations (to make it possible to track down internet users and to check phone conversations), regulations about assembly and demonstrations, cyber insulting laws, broadcasting laws, and so on. Other political parties have strikes against these new policies at the National Assembly. Many citizens are concerned that democracy in Korea goes back to the past. I introduce netizens’ reactions especially about broadcasting laws—the new policy suggests that conglomerates and newspaper companies can take control of broadcasting.

Netizens are busy sharing what the new broadcasting law is about.

방송사 1대주주 지분을 30%에서 49%로 늘리면서, 20% 지분 내에선 어느 대기업이나 신문기업도 방송사를 소유할 수 있게 한 방송법 개정안도 반드시 저지해야 할 악법으로 분류했다

The major shareholder of the broadcasting company can occupy 49 percent stake compared to 30 percent in the past. As long as it has 20 percent stake, any conglomerates and newspaper companies can own a broadcasting company. These new revised bills should be held back.

Another post:

개정안: 신문법 개정을 통해 신문·방송 겸영 금지조항을 삭제[…]

Revised bill: By the new regulation related to the newspaper act, combining management of newspaper and broadcasting that was prohibited before will be eliminated.[…]

How the new broadcasting act will influence Korean society is the main issue.

조중동이 mbc를 가져가 정부의 나팔수가 된다면 이 나라는 어떻게 될가 대기업이 방송에 진출한다. 웃기지 마라.. 울 나라 대기업은 지금 병원,물류,전자,통신, 자동차,선박,화학, 섬유,유통,전기 안하는 것이 없다..그 대기업에 방송마저 장악당하면 우린 대기업의 노예로 살아야 한다.. 대기업은 많은 정경 유착을 하는데 지들이 방송국을 가지면 제대로 자신의 치부를 보도할가. 방송은 진실을 보도하며 국민을 계몽하야 함에도 저 집단들은 자신의 입맛에 맞게, 정부의 하수인으로 방송을 만들것이다. 자신들에게 동조하지 않는 기업에는 광고를 주지 않아 그 기업을 망하게 할 수 도 있다..[…]

If Cho-Joong-Dong take over MBC and back up the government, how will this country change? Conglomerates would like to enter into broadcasting. Don't make me laugh anymore. Conglomerates are already taking over all sectors, hospitals, electronics, communications, manufacture, automobiles, ships, chemistry, textile, distribution, and so on. If they control broadcasting, we will live as slaves of those companies. As we know, conglomerates have cozy relations with politicians. If they take over broadcasting, who will talk about them? Broadcasting has the duty to report the truth to us. However, they will talk following the tastes of those companies and will walk for the government. If there are groups that don't follow their rules, they will destroy them. They will block those companies in the media..[…]

Can broadcasting be neutral with this new regulation?

[…]방송의 사업적 목표뿐만이 아니라 언론의 여론조작을 통한 정치적 영향력을 행사하고 싶은 이유에서이다. 이미 기업이 소유한 구조의 언론사들의 행태는 우리 국민들이 누구나 다 잘안다. 자사의 사주가 검찰에 출두해 조사받자 기자들이 사주의 보디가느로 나서는 한심한 언론이 우리 신문이다. 이러한 비민주적이고 논리성이 없는 언론은 국민의 이름으로 통제되어야 한다

[…] not only for business goal to have their own broadcasting, but they would also like to have political influences through manipulating public opinion. We already know so well about how media that is controlled by enterprises is working. If their own enterprises have to be investigated by the police, reporters and journalists are busy guarding their own people. As the name of the people, we should control this kind of immoral and illogical media.

Candlelight vigils started against the new laws and supporting strikes of current broadcasting labor unions.

☆촛불집회때는.. 감히 한나라당,이명박이 대운하,언론장악,경제망치기,FTA추진등..
국민들이 무서워서 절대 못했습니다..정말 촛불을 들어서든 해서 우리 국민의 힘을보여줘야합니다!!☆ 한나라당이 이번 29일 안에 조중동,재벌등의 방송 진출을 허용하는 법안을 추진한다고합니다.. 이건 매우 큰일입니다..

In the time of candlelight vigils, the GNP and Lee Myungbak gave up launching the Grand Canal Project, seizing media, and progressing FTA because of the fear of the people. We should show our power with candles!! I heard that the GNP is propelling to pass bills that include the new media regulation that Cho-Joong-Dong and conglomerates can have their own broadcastings. This is a really serious problem..

Netizens again encourage candlelight vigils in order to express their opinions.

얼마만에 촛불을 다시 드는지 모르겠습니다. 물론 달라질 것은 없다고 생각합니다. 촛불만으로 모든 일이 되돌려진다면 매일이라도 촛불을 들고 살겠습니다만 지금은 이 땅에 사는 한 사람으로서 ‘스스로 생각하는 정의'라고 여기기에 언론노조 총 파업을 지지하고 그 뜻을 함께 합니다. […]

I don't remember when was the last time to raise my candle. I don't think that this will change anything. If things can change with candles, I would like to live with my candle raised every day. As a person in this land, I support strikes of the broadcasting labor union because I believe it as ‘justice.'[…]

However, many are concerned about any activity after the aftermath of the candlelight vigils last time.

[…] 다른 말도안되는 법안도 많지만, 지상파 방송을 재벌과 거대신문에 내주는 법안이 통과라도 된다면 모두 일어서야 하지 않을까요? 사실 겁이납니다. 지난 촛불집회때 자진해서 앞장섰던 분들이 잠잠해지고 나서 검찰, 경찰에 불려다니고 구속당하고.. 하는 꼴을 보니… 누가 무서워서 집회에 나올까 싶은겁니다.. 더군다나 이렇게 경제가 어려운 시기에,자기 몸 사리기도 바쁠텐데, 과연 촛불을 들까??? 정말 이명박이라는 사람이 무섭네요.. 한나라당도 무섭고..

[…]There are so many ridiculous bills. But if broadcasting will be taken over by conglomerates and major newspapers with the passage of the new bill, don't we have to stand up? Honestly speaking, I am scared. The people who volunteered to candlelight vigils last time were fine at that moment. But must later, the police started investigating them and arresting them. Looking at that, I am afraid who will be attending rallies anymore. In addition, in such an economically hard time, everyone will be busy thinking about oneself. Who will raise candles this time??? I am scared of Lee Myung Bak… I am scared of the GNP…

A post by a participant of a new candlelight vigil:

2008년의 마지막 일요일, 추운날씨에도 시민들은 여의도 국회앞에 모였다.[…] 행사에서는 노래공연, 율동과 춤 등이 함께 하여 참가자들의 기운을 복돋웠다. 경찰들은 행사 내내 불법집회라고 하며 해산을 종용했다. 하지만 참가자들은 48시간 국민행동과 촛불문화제를 마친 후 해산하고 법안상정이 될 경우를 대비하여 비상대기를 하기로 하였다.
무엇이 이들을 추운 날씨에 여의도로 모이게 하였는가?[…]

On the last Sunday of 2008, regardless of cold weather, citizens gathered together in front of the National Assembly at Yeoui-do.[…] In the event, participants cheered themselves up with singing and dancing performances. The Police emphasized it was an illegal assembly and encouraged people to disperse. However, the participants kept their seats for 48 hours like the original plan and dismissed after finishing candlelight events. They also prepare emergent situations in case that those bills presented.
What makes them gather together at Yeoui-do despite such cold weather?[…]


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