Mass Labor Rallies Held in South Korea

Labor groups in South Korea held a demonstration against social distancing measures and the rules on assembly by holding major protests around the country on Wednesday.

The umbrella union called a national strike and held demonstrations, including one in Seoul with some 27,000 participants, which was unlawful under the present social distancing measures. Authorities and residents alike have expressed alarm about a possible virus outbreak as the country moves toward “Living with COVID-19.”

A group filed a complaint on police on Thursday to fine all rally participants for breaking the laws on assembly, infectious illness control, traffic, and business obstruction.

“Despite the government’s repeated warnings, those KCTU members pushed ahead with the illegal rallies for political purposes,” the group said.

“Because of the illegal demonstrations, citizens suffered a great inconvenience, including serious traffic chaos, merchants around the rally sites saw their sales decline, and the people are fearing a virus resurgence,” the group added.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government also reported the union leaders and other attendees to the police. 

The city administration had previously banned all 10 rallies planned by the KCTU for that day. Still, the union went ahead with the illegal gatherings, seizing all roadways at the Seodaemun Station intersection for two hours.

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