Supreme Court rejects spontaneous flash mobs

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Supreme Court rejects spontaneous flash mobs


The Supreme Court said people planning flash mobs should give advance notice to local police if the event has a social or political message.

The Supreme Court headed by Judge Kim So-young upheld a conviction for holding an unauthorized assembly and a 700,000 won ($630) fine against a 32-year-old woman surnamed Kim.

Kim, the organizer of an Internet group called Youth Union, staged a flash mob performance in April 2010 after the Ministry of Employment and Labor disapproved her application for creating a labor union for her Internet group. Kim and 10 members of the group gathered in front of Myeongdong Theater in central Seoul, and dressed in black, chanted, “Solve the youth unemployment problem!”

“The assembly was conducted as a flash mob, which is a type of performance art,” the court said in its ruling. “But when we look at the event’s purpose, the location and the time it was held, it can’t be seen as an entertainment or artistic event. The flash mob criticized the government’s policies on youth unemployment so it must be categorized as an assembly that must be reported to local police in advance.”

Outdoor assemblies must be reported to local police in advance but artistic and entertainment performances like impromptu street dances are exempt.

By Park Min-je [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]

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