South Korean church ejects workers
A contribution of the Catholic Church to South Korea's democracy struggle came to an abrupt end on November 27, when trade unionists hunted by the Kim Dae-jung regime — some since May — were kicked out of their sanctuary: tents on the grounds of the Myongdong Cathedral in Seoul.
They are now at the mercy of the police, who are enforcing the anti-worker legislation and other austerity measures prescribed by the International Monetary Fund for the US$57 billion emergency credit line extended to Seoul a year ago.
Arrest warrants have been issued for about 200 trade unionists in the last seven months, mostly for striking to defend jobs but also because of their exercising of other basic rights such as taking part in a May Day march.
The unionists accused the church of hiring thugs to chuck them out, but church members denied this. Yet the latter conceded: "We will not allow the jobless workers to pitch tents again against the will of the congregation".