Thousands of South Koreans marched in Seoul for the second straight day Saturday to protest government labour policies and the handling of a ferry disaster that killed more than 300 people a year ago. Thousands of demonstrators supporting the relatives of ferry disaster victims gathered for a rally on the same downtown street where protesters violently clashed with police last weekend, leaving dozens injured. Saturday’s rally ended peacefully without any reported injuries, said an official from the National Police Agency, who didn’t want to be named, citing office rules.
We are out to prove that those who are now in power will be unable to keep it if they keep stomping on workers’ rights.
Korean Confederation of Trade Unions President Han Sang-goon
Hundreds of people marched silently from several locations to participate in the evening rally, many of them wearing face masks and yellow scarfs and jackets, the color that has come to symbolize the plight of the families. Waving candles and illuminated cellphones, the demonstrators chanted “Salvage the truth” and “Park Geun-hye, step down,” criticizing the South Korean president for her reluctance to accept a more thorough investigation into the sinking, before voluntarily dispersing. They were joined by some of the estimated 40,000 unionized workers who had demonstrated in front of the Seoul City Hall hours earlier to denounce government policies that they fear will reduce wages, job security and retirement benefits for state employees.