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80,000 Protest Beef in South Korea

80,000 Protest Beef Imports in South Korea, Government Hears

The right to assemble is alive and well in South Korea — and what's more, the government is paying attention. Between 80,000 and 100,000 people demonstrated last night in Seoul, the largest demonstration yet against a deal to resume imports of US beef into South Korea.

The South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said today his government intends to make a fresh start following the protests, and that his entire Cabinet has offered to resign in response to weeks of rallies against the incoming beef. Lee said, "I thought about a lot of things while watching protests last night. The government intends to make a start with a new determination."

Though he's concerned the Cabinet resignations might cause "a vacuum in state affairs," he has not yet said whether he will accept the resignations, but will probably reassign some ministers.


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The candlelight vigil was sparked by an agreement Lee made with George Bush to resume imports of US beef, following a mad cow disease-inspired ban in 2003. What started as a trickle of small protests swelled into a torrent of anti-government street rallies that continued into the early morning, miraculously despite the passion and huge number of people, no clashes or injuries were reported.

South Korea was the third-largest overseas customer for US beef before the ban. Can you imagine a similar response to a protest in the US? Could 100,000 people protesting prompt the Cabinet to offer resignations?

Source

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CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
good more meat for me,
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
good more meat for me,
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I have never seen a cow that didn't look content, even as it looked down the barrel of a slaughtering gun.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
I do a lot of hiking amongst cows and they seem very content.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
I see cows every day here in California, they do look pretty happy Dave :)
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
You know I do have to say that that is the prettiest protest I've ever seen. Like I always say if you're gonna do it, do it pretty.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Sy - according to commercials here in WI, happy cows are from California. I don't understand why they are protesting. What about our beef is bad?
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Sy - according to commercials here in WI, happy cows are from California.I don't understand why they are protesting. What about our beef is bad?
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Argentine beef for me baby. Grass fed all the way.
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
I didn't realize we were the Chinese toy equivalent of the beef industry.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 8 years
I don't know the whole story here, but I find it a little strange that that many people are willing to protest import of American beef. Is it just fear? Anti-American sentiment?
syako syako 8 years
wah wah wah. :P Um, I agree about the meat thing, let's raise happy cows!
syako syako 8 years
wah wah wah.:PUm, I agree about the meat thing, let's raise happy cows!
stephley stephley 8 years
And if they can get a crowd like that to protest our meat, maybe we should really re-think eating it.
stephley stephley 8 years
To begin with, if it's a protest in Washington, DC, you'd have to find a disinterested party to count the crowd because the authorities always lowball the numbers. The March for Women's Lives, for reproductive rights and women's rights, in April 2004 drew between 800,000 and 1.5 million people - I can't think of any positive changes that came out of that. They probably should have all jingled change in their pockets - Congress hears money, not crowds.
stephley stephley 8 years
To begin with, if it's a protest in Washington, DC, you'd have to find a disinterested party to count the crowd because the authorities always lowball the numbers. The March for Women's Lives, for reproductive rights and women's rights, in April 2004 drew between 800,000 and 1.5 million people - I can't think of any positive changes that came out of that. They probably should have all jingled change in their pockets - Congress hears money, not crowds.
CitizenSugar CitizenSugar 8 years
I'm just blown away by that first picture. The sheer number of people, and a peaceful protest for the most part.
Meike Meike 8 years
If South American rain forests had a say, they would be very happy with more of these protests.
syako syako 8 years
:moo: poor cow.
syako syako 8 years
:moo:poor cow.
yesteryear yesteryear 8 years
i know a lot of girls who are also protesting american beef. it's just not what it used to be.
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