Groups seek permits for rallies during G-20

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Groups seek permits for rallies during G-20

A number of civic and interest groups have registered or plan to hold rallies around the time of the G-20 Summit next month in Seoul, and police announced they will mobilize the largest force ever for an event held in the country.

Residents of an isolated slum area in Gangnam, southern Seoul, that is close to the venue of the summit, have notified police that about 500 people will rally on Nov. 4 to protest the Seoul city government’s development plans, local police said.

The group objects to a 12-meter-high watchtower and said protests will continue until the G-20 Summit. The summit is scheduled for Nov. 11-12. Under current laws, those seeking to rally are required to obtain prior permission from the police.

An association of bereaved families of Pacific War victims also reported plans for up to 1,000 people to stage silent rallies urging leaders of the United States and Japan to enact special laws compensating war victims.

An organization for the handicapped, which has been demonstrating against the chief of a stage agency for the disabled, said it will not stop its protest unless its demands for his resignation are met by the end of this month, police officials said.

The National Police Agency fears that there may be ambush rallies near the COEX, the summit venue, and that some of them may turn violent.

“They might think that they can deliver their messages more efficiently if they protest during the G-20 period,” an official at the National Policy Agency said.

“While dissuading them from holding rallies, we will sternly act against illegal rallies and demonstrations by mobilizing police.”

Some 30,000 police officers and 20,000 riot police are expected to be on security duty during the two-day summit, the largest for an event held in the country.

The police agency has announced that from Nov. 8-12, all rallies and demonstrations within a 2-kilometer radius (1.2 miles ) of the COEX will be banned.

A special law came into effect this month giving police greater power to restrict street rallies and to mobilize the military for the purpose of suppressing protests.

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