Rally tonight dedicated to ringing out the president

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Rally tonight dedicated to ringing out the president

The last anti-Park Geun-hye rally of the year will be held today, overlapping with New Year’s Eve celebrations, according to rally organizers.

“We expect to break through the 10 million people mark in the accumulated number of protesters in the 10th weekly rally on Saturday,” said a spokesman for rally organizers, which are comprised of some 1,500 civic groups. “The rally will seek to not only send the old year out, but send Park out as well, and let the new year in.”

According to rally organizers, some 8.9 million have gathered throughout the country in the weekly rallies from Oct. 29, the first.

A New Year’s Eve concert for protesters is planned from 8 p.m., with singers including Jeon In-kwon and Shin Dae-chul. Shin is the son of popular Korean singer Shin Joong-hyun, called the godfather of Korean rock ‘n’ roll. Shin took issue with the fact that his father’s song “Beautiful Rivers and Mountains” was often sung by Park’s supporters in rallies.

“These Park supporters have no right to sing [my father’s] song,” Shin posted on Facebook this month. “The anti-Park rally organizers had better recruit me. I will sing it right for them all.”

President Park, impeached by the National Assembly earlier this month, faces the judgment of the Constitutional Court over a corruption and abuse of power scandal.

The candlelight vigils are held to urge Park to quit even before the verdict by the court. Protesters have said they will rally until Park is completely removed from office.

After the performances, protesters will march toward the Blue House, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Constitutional Court. Marching toward a point some 100 meters (328 feet) from the Blue House will be permitted from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., according to the Seoul Administrative Court.

Marching to some 100 meters from the Prime Minister’s Office, and some 200 meters from the Constitutional Court will be allowed until 10:30 p.m.

Protesters will likely join the crowd in front of the Bosingak Belfry in Jongno District to celebrate the bell-ringing ceremony at midnight.

Rallies to support Park and demand the nulling of her impeachment will also be held at the main gate of Deoksu Palace from 2 p.m. today.

BY HONG SANG-JI, ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]
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