Here are a few pictures I took of last Saturday's protests. The main protest was part of the continuing anti-American beef campaign that has been going on since early last May.
As you will see, I was most interested in the activities of Liberty in North Korea, a group that deserves more support in Korea than it gets.
This was a counter-protest sponsored by a group called No-No Demo. The LiNK folks made a presentation and then went on to conduct their own march. I heard they also requested permission to speak at the anti-American beef protest but were turned down.
LiNK members preparing to conduct a mock funeral to "to ask the South Korean people to help raise awareness for the sufferings of the North Korean people."
Going through the crowd: The decision to be silent, while appropriate for symbolizing the apparent lack of concern for the human rights situation in North Korea, meant that they did not draw as much attention as they could have. That is especially true since the beef protest had a stage and jumbotron with songs, dancing and a celebrity MC to keep everyone's attention.
Things got more interesting as the LiNK folks worked their way through the main crowd of people in front of city hall. A lot of folks read their banners. There were a few icy stares and unkind gestures, but it largely went without incident. However there were a couple of cases of (relatively mild) violence. The guy in this picture tried to start a fight with one of the LiNK members but was restrained by a friend. A little while later the LiNK members were "aggressively escorted" out of the area by men who were acting as ushers for the anti-American beef protest.
The hasty forced exit of the LiNK folks happened while I was checking out a couple of tents in front of city hall, so I lost track of them. I figured it was a good time to have dinner. I got a couple of pictures of signs on the way out.
"Withdrawal Lee Myung-bak" 2MB is a play on president Lee's initials. "Lee" and the sino-korean word for "two" sound the same in Korean. MB here is megabytes. In other words, they are saying Lee is a dim bulb.
After working my way south, I got a taxi near Namdaemun. I got this picture just before leaving. The crowd was estimated at 50,000. If 100,000 had made it there, this part of the street would have been full of people.