Police brace for City Hall crowdPolice expect 100,000 students and other people to gather in front of City Hall at 3 p.m. today to hold a memorial for the two local girls crushed by a U.S. Army vehicle during a military training exercise.
The protesters will also make a candlelighted march to the U.S. Embassy.
Traffic congestion and violence between protesters and police are expected.
The police said they will regulate the demonstration arranged by the Pan National Committee, an alliance of civic groups that has staged demonstrations ever since the girls' deaths in June, and will block the protesters from marching to the U.S. Embassy.
"I expect the memorial will be held solemnly and orderly," said Lee Dae-gil, the director of the Seoul National Police Agency, "and we will strictly cope with unlawful actions, such as the occupation of roads or protesters breaking away from the permitted demonstration site."
The police will allow protesters to occupy the roads to certain extent, as it did during the 2002 World Cup, to help the memorial proceed smoothly.
But they will prevent the candlelight march to the U.S. Embassy, scheduled to take place around 6 p.m. The police are also planning to station 15,000 officers around the City Hall, Gwanghwamun and U.S. Embassy area.
Meanwhile, 300 people from 60 religious groups held a peace and life convention at a park near Gwanghwamun and called for a revision of the Status of Forces Agreement with the United States.
"Minbyun," the Lawyers for a Democratic Society, also demanded a revision of the SOFA yesterday and handed over a statement and a revised version of the SOFA worked by the lawyers and professors of university law departments to the U.S. Embassy.
by Yoon Chang-hee