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World March Blog
23 October 2009

The Magic of the March 3. At City Hall

We continue with our agenda after going to Yongsan where the activists of the city came together in an emotional event, in protest at the death of 5 people in an incident that occurred when the police tried to evict them from their homes. The brutality of property speculation seems to be behind the events.

The next event was something “light”. Meditation and dancing in the City Hall Park.

Someone warned us. Around 100 meters away, something was happening. The police surrounded 3 people forming a tight circle around them, through which you could neither enter nor leave. What was happening? Who are they? Where is the Korean translator? It’s difficult to move in a city you don’t know, with a strange language and besides that having been invited by other organisations.

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English, Spanish, Korean, running around and at the end we found out. They were family members of the Yongsan victims who came to the organised activity. The police were retaining them arguing that “a cell phone had been stolen”. It seems to be a usual technique, trying to stop them mixing with other people to avoid the conflict extending. Someone whispered that it was not small the number of times that these “retentions” ended up being in the police station.

Some continued in the park with dance and meditation. The local organiser didn’t want us to get involved to avoid conflicts with the administration. To us it didn’t seem good to leave them there. What kind of nonviolence is that when you can meditate and dance while our people are being taken away? We decided to not leave.

Neither Micky, nor Rafa, nor Marco nor Tony are here and I feel responsible for the group. I don’t want anyone to be arrested or disturb the local organisers, but nor am I willing to just go, I’m not marching around the world to watch from the other side when those around me are violated. The “grandmothers” came to give me a lesson. Montse who’s over 70, puts on the face of a saint and jumps through the police cordon to hug those detained, behind her is Liliana who’s over 60 with a disgusted face and a look that leaves me in no doubt that she’s not going away. She too jumps the police cordon.

Policia corea 001 I encourage the few of us who are there to encircle the police hand in hand, I speak loudly in Spanish so that they understand that we’re foreigners, maybe this can avoid more conflict. With the banner extended we just about manage to surround the cordon. One of the Zen monks speaks on the side with someone who seems to be in charge.

The police are very young but well trained. They don’t speak. The don’t move and remain undaunted by any demand. The bus comes with reinforcements, I think that if they decide to “charge” they will outnumber us three to one. I can no longer think of any other strategy and these “beasts” of dance, continue jumping around two metres away without realising what’s happening. I have no idea how this will end.

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Everything happens in a second. With a signal the cordon dissolves and the police move towards their buses among the confusion and shouts of the demonstrators. Someone must have given the order to withdraw… ufff it’s a good job they’re obedient.

Hugs, crying, thanks. Those detained assure us that it was thanks to our presence that they weren’t beaten up, like on other occasions. We are all on edge and emotional.

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Everything turned out well. I don’t know how, but it seems that this magic that is accompanying the March has ended up influencing those around us.

Luis Silva

mimarchamundial.blogspot.com

15 comments to The Magic of the March 3. At City Hall

  • Daniel F

    Gracias Luis! muy conmovedor y valiente jugada. Es una elección: allí donde puedo hacer algo para ayudar, adelante! si no puedo sigo mi camino con alegría! Sigue con tus comentarios cuando puedas: nos ayuda y nos alimenta!

  • Max Solinas

    Gracias Luis! un ejemplo da accion no-violenta en un pequeno conjunto!
    Creo que sera’ de inspiracion para muchos no-violentos…
    Un gran abrazo a todos desde Milan, Italia
    Max
    PS mi pierna se esta recuperando… muy bien!

  • Heber

    Excelente amig@s. Queda bien claro que la no-violencia activa es fuerza. Pero es solo para los más valientes.
    Un fuerte abrazo desde Buenos Aires…
    Nos vemos en PdV

  • claudie

    De acuerdo totalmente : no violencia es la unica salida, es fuerza pero solo para los mas valientes. Bravissimo a ustedes
    claudie

  • Elizabeth

    Esa es la forma en que hay que enfrentar la violencia, con no violencia pero sin omisión. Vamos por el camino correcto! No dejen de andar que les seguimos desde nuestras trincheras.

  • montserrat.ponsa

    Bravo Luís, tuvimos claro en todo momento cual era la situación y, como personas comprometidas, sabíamos cual debía ser el camino a seguir. Nuestra sola presencia en el lugar, junto a los reprimidos, impidió mayor actuación por parte de aquellos policias que, simplemente cumplían con su deber. A la mañana siguiente una mujer koreana nos contó que uno de los policias era hijo suyo cumpliendo su servicio militar. Que recibió el abrazo de una de nosotras, que se emocionó. Ella agradeció nuestro gesto pacífico en nombre própio y el de su hijo. Es una experiencia más a sumar a nuestra MM

    • Tony Robinson

      Translation of Montserrat’s reply to Luis:
      Bravo Luis, it was clear for us all along what the situation was and how, as committed individuals, we knew what path to take. Just by our presence in the place, together with the repressed, it impeded greater action by those policemen who were just doing their job. The following morning a Korean woman told us that one of the policemen was her son doing his military service. She said he was hugged by one of us and that it made him emotional. She thanked our peaceful gesture on her behalf and on behalf of her son. It’s one more experience to add to our WM.

  • ¡¡Gracias!! por compartir esta acción no-violenta frente a la prepotencia. abrazos. Los esperamos en México. Leticia

  • alba

    como que si hubiese estado allí! así me sentí. claro que al lado de las que llamas abuelas.me vi totalmente reflejada en ellas.TAL CUAL! ajajaj y me alegré.no sabes cuánto! ajajaj. así se hace! que el recorrido continúe llenito de experiencias vivas y enriquecedoras que van alimentando a esta suave y gran fuerza. por acá estamos siempre a la espera de los relatos, los videos, las agendas, las fotos…. un gran y cálido abrazo a tod@s y cada un@ Alba NO VIOLENCIA ES FUERZA.

  • Carolina Maedebach

    Hola amigos!

    Me ha emocionado mucho leer esto!

    Excelente muestra de actitud no violenta!

    Mucha fuerza en vuestros caminos!!!

    Cuidense!!!

  • miguel angel

    gracias Luis por esta accion de no violencia activa y por transmitirnosla
    un abrazo muy fuerte
    miguel angel

  • I am so mooved by this, well done dear Luis and your friends,so courageous and it gives us courage too, thank you, big hug Krisztina from Ireland

  • Wilver Gómez

    Bravo Luis:
    Gracias por compartir esta experiencia. Nos llena de Paz, Fuerza y Alegría.
    Los esperamos en Arequipa – Perú
    Wilver

  • Hola Luis, para felicitarte por tan buena acción no podiamos esperar menos de ti. Sigue adelante que nosotros etamos contigo
    Judith