Camp Red Cloud protests fail to gain steam
May 25, 2007
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — Two planned anti-U.S. demonstrations fizzled Wednesday, but the groups may not be done protesting.
Planners from the leftist Democratic Labor Party had planned a demonstration to protest U.S. Forces Korea and U.S. policy Wednesday morning, but none of the protesters showed up, Yangju police said.
However, the group has a permit to protest at any time through June 18 according to their permit, police said.
Meanwhile, a North Gyeonggi Peace Party protest drew 10 demonstrators in front of Camp Red Cloud’s main gate from 11 a.m. to noon, police said. The group chanted slogans and denounced recent alleged off-post crimes by U.S. soldiers. A 30-man combat police platoon guarded the camp.
The group originally protested last week and plans to do so again, leader Hwang Wang-taek said during a phone interview Wednesday.
“We plan to continue to hold this Wednesday protest ... as peaceful and lawful rallies,” Hwang said. “We hope our protests in part help the U.S. soldiers cut down their criminal activities. And we really hope the U.S. personnel don’t abuse their (Status of Forces Agreement) status.”
The protesters also called for South Korea not to share costs for relocating U.S. bases, and wants the United States to pay for environmental clean-up of bases returned to South Korea.
The United States and South Korea originally agreed that dozens of bases would be returned with no major environmental health threats; however, they would not be cleaned any further. South Korea is receiving billions in infrastructure improvements to the bases for free, U.S. officials say.