Monday, August 28, 2006

The Struggle Continues!

In Seattle, Washington September 6 – September 9, 2006 The 3rd round of FTA talks between South Korea and the U.S. takes place in Seattle. Free trade policies such as the proposed KorUS FTA have had devastating effects on the lives of Americans as well as workers in the partner countries. Though FTAs are widely touted for encouraging foreign direct investment, creating jobs and jump-starting economies, most of these investments are in mergers and acquisitions, resulting in job losses. NAFTA sent formerly high paying manufacturing jobs to Mexico, forced Mexican subsistence farmers to the cities, and drove wages down, leading many to risk their lives immigrating to the U.S. South Koreans fear a similar fate for their farmers, as well as the worsening of working conditions. The upcoming FTA negotiations address some 17 trade categories; the pri-mary issues for Koreans are agriculture (especially rice and beef), automobiles, pharmaceuticals and the media.

Schedule of Events
+9/6 Opening Rally & March [sponsored by Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) and AFL-CIO], Westlake Park, 12:30p
+9/6 International Cultural Performance [by Dohee Lee, SKIM, Cuchata, and local hip-hop], Westlake Park, 6:30p
+9/6 Candlelight Vigil, Westlake Park, 8:30p
+9/8 Sam-bo Il-bae* March, Westlake Park, 1:00p
+9/9 Closing Rally & Funeral March, Federal Building, 1:00p
* Sam-bo Il-bae literally means "three steps, one bow." Originally born from the Buddhist tradition, it is a uniquely Korean form of protest with a long history in our resistance movements. Participants will do the entire march by taking three steps, then a full bow on our knees, touching the ground. In the process, we demonstrate and renew our deep commitment to the struggle. Sam-bo Il-bae is silent, slow, physically demanding, and extremely powerful. KoA and KAWAN invite all local allies to join us in Sam-bo Il-bae, as we renew our commitment together.

Organized by Korean Alliance Against Korea-US FTA (KoA) and Korean Americans Against War And Neoliberalism (KAWAN)