Saturday, March 10, 2007

FTA's last round?

[UPDATE] Seems that Saturdays protests were blocked most of the day. I got a few phone calls from some at the march who played a game of cat and mouse with the police on the subway system as they tried to find a place to meet after their march was obstructed near Ehwa University. Eventually they made it downtown, as you can see in this video over at Pressian. Later, from a report I read earlier, it seems that some were water-cannoned, as it got darker, and colder, into the evening.

Well, another session of FTA talks have kicked off. As usual, protests are banned and the nation's highways are full of riot police blocking farmers from getting to Seoul (you can see the buses on the highways in this short newscast, link). Looks like this will be the final round. Why? Seems some last minute deals were made on agriculture that would allow the government to save face (Anti-FTA groups had seen this coming for months) and the only other institutional force that could have blocked the agreement, the prime-minister, has just stepped down -- and, no surprise here, pro-FTA former MOFE minister Han Duck-Soo has been appointed Prime Minister.

So it goes...

1 comment:

  1. latest development:
    S. Korean activists go on hunger strike to protest FTA talks with U.S. (Yonhap)