Since May 22, members of the Korean Metal Workers Union are being assaulted by police due to their occupation in the auto plant. Protesting mass layoffs of about three thousand workers, approximately 600 sit-down strikers have endured raids by police and company-hired strikebreakers. Since July 20, strikers have been denied access to food, drinking water, and medical supplies.
This week, police dropped tear gas into the building occupied by workers. Over the week, union members have been shot by rubber bullets, and a fire broke out in a nearby building. The group of people in support of the workers have likewise faced attack by company thugs. About 4,000 riot police in 30 vehicles have been using water cannons, ladder trucks, and helicopters in attack of the strikers and their support lines.
Police in Korea have also deterred supporters from delivering supplies to the workers. They have forced family members from entering the plant with food and water; 82 supporters were arrested over two days recently.
Call to action: KIWA is organizing a protest tomorrow (Thursday, August 6) at noon to support workers of the Ssangyong Factory in Korea, where laid-off workers have been in a two-month long standoff with the police and are now being assaulted. Workers have actually been prompting people to protest in front of Korean consulates and take pictures in show of support.
Location: South Korean Consulate, 3243 Wilshire Blvd. (Wilshire/Vermont)
Time: 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.