Sick of rallies, Busan civic group fights fire with fire

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Sick of rallies, Busan civic group fights fire with fire

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Around 100 members of a Busan-based civic group stage a three-step-one-bow rally in Jeong-dong, Seoul, to protest the Bus for Hope rallies being held by labor activists against Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. in the southern port city. By Kim Do-hoon


Frustrated by a months-long labor protest in their city, a Busan civic group yesterday staged its own bus rally to Seoul to protest the Bus for Hope rallies being held by activists against Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co. in the southern port city.

Around 100 members of the group, calling itself the Busan Pan-Citizen Alliance, arrived on three buses in the capital yesterday morning to deliver their message that the drawn-out Bus for Hope rallies have become intolerable.

“The intervention of third parties such as some politicians and labor groups in the Hanjin Heavy Industries’ case is causing enormous pain for Busan residents and immense losses for Busan’s economy,” the members said in a statement issued before leaving for Seoul.

The so-called Bus for Hope rallies, which mobilize buses to ferry sympathizers from across the country to Busan, started in June to protest what they say was an inadequate labor settlement reached with the Busan-based shipbuilder earlier that month. A fifth rally is slated for Oct. 8-9 in Busan.

For many labor activists, the rallies have provided a new way of putting out their antigovernment, anticorporate message. But Busan citizens, in particular residents of Yeongdo, a small island connected to the Busan mainland by bridges, have organized counterprotests to three of the four previous Bus for Hope rallies. The fourth Bus for Hope rally was held in Seoul late last month.

The Busan Pan-Citizen Alliance said they organized a bus rally to Seoul to express the frustration of Busan citizens with the labor activist rallies. They claimed that they were ordinary citizens and were not mobilized by conservative groups.

After arriving in Seoul, the members met National Police Agency Commissioner Cho Hyun-oh and requested help in preventing the upcoming Busan International Film Festival from being hindered by the upcoming Bus for Hope rally. The 16th BIFF, the biggest international event in Busan, will be held on Oct. 6-14.

The group also went to Gwanghwamun, central Seoul, to hold a rally in front of the headquarters of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, the militant umbrella union group that has coordinated the Bus for Hope rallies.

At nearby Deoksu Palace, they staged a three-step-one-bow rally, in which participants performed a deep bow every three steps to demonstrate their strong opposition to the Bus for Hope rallies.

In Busan, the association representing the city’s small- and mid-size companies also called a press conference in front of the Busan Metropolitan Council to urge the suspension of the fifth Bus for Hope rally.

“It will be in the middle of BIFF, so we businesspeople involved in small- and mid-size businesses in Busan express deep concern and strongly demand that they stop the Bus for Hope event,” representatives of the association said in a statement at the press conference. “We absolutely refuse the Bus for Hope event, which hurts the region’s economic stability and causes public discomfort.”


By Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]


한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]

부산 민심 ‘분노의 역류’

100여명 버스 상경 “8일 예정 희망버스 오지 마라” … 민노총 관계자 “시끄럽게 하지 마라”

30일 오후 2시 서울 정동 민주노총 앞. 붉은 글씨로 ‘희망버스 반대’라고 쓰인 흰 띠를 머리에 두른 12명의 부산 시민이 삼보일배(三步一拜)를 시작했다. 같은 머리띠를 두른 90여 명의 시민은 이들 뒤에서 덕수궁 돌담길을 따라 대한문까지 행진했다. 이들은 이날 오전 7시 부산 에서 전세버스 3대를 나눠 타고 상경한 ‘한진중공업 사태 외부세력 개입 반대 부산범시민연합’ 회원들. 민주노총 건물에서 민주노총 산하 금속노조 관계자가 나와 “뭘 안다고 여기 와서 이래. 시끄럽게 하지 마”라고 고함을 질렀다. 회원들이 “부산이 지금 어떤지 알고 그런 말을 하느냐” “상습 시위꾼이 뭐하자는 거냐”고 항의하면서 몸싸움도 벌어졌다.

 ‘부산발 분노의 역류’였다. 이들은 이달 8~9일로 예정된 ‘5차 희망버스’ 시위를 막기 위해 서울에 왔다고 했다. 이 단체 대표 격인 최상기(56) 집행위원장은 “한진중공업 노사가 합의를 했는데도 외부 사람들이 시위를 계속 벌여 부산이 난장판이 됐다”며 “정치적 이득을 얻으려고 시위를 부추기는 집단은 부산 시민에겐 희망이 아니라 절망”이라고 말했다. 이날 행사는 최 위원장이 인터넷에 행사 내용을 올리자 부산 각지의 주민·상인·학부모모임 회원 등이 동참 의사를 밝히며 이뤄졌다.

 이들은 특히 6일부터 14일까지 열리는 부산국제영화제를 시위대가 방해할 것이라고 걱정했다. 조옥순(52·여)씨는 삼보일배를 마친 뒤 “시위대는 부산 시민들이 혼신의 힘을 다해 준비하는 국제영화제를 망쳐놓을 게 뻔하다”며 “그들의 반(反)사회적 범죄행위로부터 부산 시민들을 지켜내겠다”고 말했다.

 삼보일배를 마친 일행은 여의도 진보신당 당사로 이동했다. 이들은 장세명 진보신당 대외협력국장을 만나 “국제영화제 기간인 8~9일에 부산으로 내려오면 안 된다. 제발 취소해 달라”고 요청했다. 일행은 민주노동당과 민주노총 측에도 시위 자제를 요청하는 문건을 전달했다.

 일행 가운데 한진중공업 앞에 산다는 황수익(64)씨는 “시위대 일부가 술 마시고, 고성방가를 하는 통에 주민 치고 시위대와 안 싸워본 사람이 없다”고 말했다. “민노당과 민주노총처럼 힘있는 분들께 소시민으로서 부탁드립니다. 제발 오지 마세요.” 황씨가 두 손을 모아 간절히 부탁했다.

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