Thirty-six years have passed since the patriotic youth, students and other people of Kwangju rose up for a popular uprising to achieve independence, democracy and reunification.
From March 1980 the flames of their anti-fascist struggle for democracy spread far and wide across south Korea. In order to maintain the fascist Yushin dictatorship, the Chun Doo Hwan’s group declared an “emergency martial law” throughout south Korea on May 17 the same year, which prompted the citizens of Kwangju to rise in armed revolt against the “government”.
On May 18 1980 they rose against the violent oppression of the fascist military junta that attempted to thwart the democratic development of the south Korean society following the end of the Yushin dictatorship and maintain and prolong the pro-US fascist ruling system. They held out bravely against the heavily-armed martial army, shouting, “Lift the emergency martial law,” “Abolish the Yushin system,” “Enforce democratic reforms,” “Let us establish a democratic government” and “Yankees, go home.” They raided, destroyed and occupied the ruling machinery and other major public organs like the provincial administration office, police station, newspaper company and broadcasting station. Eventually, they put Kwangju under their complete control by driving the martial army out of the city. The puppet ruling system in South Jolla Province was almost paralyzed, as 17 cities and counties including Mokpho, Hwasun and Raju joined the uprising. Although they were ring after ring blockaded and besieged by the repressive forces of the fascist military junta and the latter tried to suppress the uprising in an indiscriminate manner, they defended the city for ten days at the cost of their life and blood. Through the uprising they demonstrated the spirit and mettle of independence that they would not tolerate the fascist tyranny and dealt a heavy blow to the colonial fascist rule of the US and its followers, the dictatorial military force.
The uprising was frustrated by the barbarous crackdown of the fascist military group backed and controlled by the US, but it was recorded as a proud event in the history of the struggle of the south Korean people for anti-US independence and anti-fascist democratization. Several decades have passed since then but their desire for independence, democracy and reunification have not yet been realized.
The US, the main culprit of the bloodshed in Kwangju, still takes full control of south Korea. They are hampering the aspiration and desire of the local people for independence, democracy and reunification and infringing upon their democratic and human right.
The south Korean authorities are driving the south Korean society deeper and deeper into the abyss of the dependence on the US by pursuing sycophantic and traitorous pro-US policies, while flagrantly infringing upon the people’s desire for democracy by administering unprecedented repressive policies. Worse still, they are selling out the interest of the nation by imploring the US to make its troops stay in south Korea and extend the period of the OPECON for an indefinite period against the compatriots’ desire for independent reunification. They are kicking the confrontation rackets against their fellow countrymen by following the anti-DPRK hostile policy of the US. They enforce evil laws to strangle the democracy and maintain their fascist tyranny and step up crackdown against the progressive pro-reunification forces.
The outcry the people in Kwangju raised 36 years ago is calling the south Korean people on to turn out into the anti-US, anti-fascist patriotic struggle for independence, democracy and national reunification.