End beef rallies

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End beef rallies

Anti U.S.-beef import rallies have continued for more than a month. The Lee Myung-bak administration recognized the gravity of the situation and will announce a measure in the near future.

Since protesters have had enough opportunities to express their arguments, it is time for them to step back and see the government’s response.

Since early last week, the demonstrations have grown more and more violent. An increasing number of protesters have been injured after clashing with police. The reasons to protest against U.S. beef imports are disappearing while the rallies are becoming increasingly dominated by political slogans.

Some said a massive rally, to be attended by 1 million people, is planned to mark the 21st anniversary of the June 10 democratization upraising against the Chun Doo-hwan administration and the eighth anniversary of the June 15 inter-Korean summit. That is nothing more than an idea to disgrace the spirit of democracy.

The Lee administration has undeniably failed in its beef negotiations and in addressing the public anger. The government admits to its shortcoming. However, it is wrong to connect protests with political arguments, such as a demand for Lee to step down.

Politicians and some civic groups, attempt sto politicize the anti U.S.-beef rallies is foul. In fact, the United Democratic Party plans a massive rally in Incheon today, the second of its kind. Opposition politicians must act within reason and their actions should be blameless.

Frequent clashes between the people and the police may prompt an unexpected, unfortunate situation.

It is sad to see innocent people being punished while trying to express their thoughts with passion.

Moreover, how can we possibly justify 100 protesters and dozens of police being injured?

Over the past month, the people had enough opportunities to express their will. It is clear that their voices were heard, because the government has admitted to its shortcomings and is coming up with a comprehensive measure to better its governance.

It is time for the people to take a step back and calmly think about whom and what their protest is for. It is time to maturely wait for the government’s measures.

The anti-U.S. beef rally, which wastes the nation’s energy, violates the people’s innocence and is being politicized by politicians, must be stopped now.
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