News on Korea
A democracy is founded upon the consent and power of the people. Its fundamental compact is the constitution which establishes the rules and government that shape and determine the lives of its people. Yet, rarely is a constitution drawn up by them or with their consultation. Rather, it is done by a political regime mediating the interests of the ruling class. The world’s first completely written constitution was established in 1789. To “protect the minority of the opulent against the majority,” it created the United States Senate.
Sept. 2, 1945 two weeks after Korea’s independence from Japan, the US Military’s General Order Number One officially divided Korea. Then, the division was cemented by war. Since then, Korea’s democracy and self-determination have been thrown off. To regain our self-determination, to shake off the chains on our democracy, we need reunification.
Korea’s sexual minority movement fights to change Korean society. For now, the Queer Culture Festival and Parade exist as a holiday from everyday Korean society. My friend recalls, “The day I look most forward to each year is the parade. I am getting emotional just thinking about it. It’s so satisfying following the floats while screaming at the top of my lungs in public. I can scream myself to the world.”
“Venezuela is important not only for what [the Bolivarian Revolution] has done for the Venezuelan people but also what it's done for Latin America, the Caribbean and the world in facilitating another way to exist without the United States,” reflected a grassroots organizer at a gathering with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela’s Consul General Antonio Cordero in San Francisco early October.
How can an oil producing nation diversify its economy and respond to fundamental material needs? How can Venezuela champion unity and integration in a region facing US intervention and occupation? How can the people work within and outside of the state and also amplify grassroots voices? These are the questions Venezuela’s Revolutionary forces are grappling with. Despite the corporate media smear campaign, the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) serves as the most democratic answer to these questions.
Thousands of Filipinos marched to protest when President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his second State of the Nation address at the Batasang Pambansa Complex, the home of the national legislature, on July 24. In order to remember those who could no longer march, the Block Marcos movement created a protest art installation, laying out over a thousand slippers and shoes on the road to the complex.
The International Strategy Center is launching a Venezuela Solidarity campaign to dispel the mainstream media’s blackout and misinformation about Venezuela’s Revolutionary process. As part of this campaign, we are doing a series of articles exploring Venezuela’s current situation and the mainstream media’s coverage of it.
Many Korean proponents of the country’s free trade agreement (FTA) with the United States believe it will boost our economy by spurring consumer demand for imported goods through lower prices and increasing exports to one of the largest markets in the world.
On Aug. 15th, at Seoul’s Square I participated in “Restoring Sovereignty and Realizing Peace in the Korean Peninsula: 8.15 People’s Peace Action” held in City Hall Square at the 72th Independence Day in Korea. Rain poured from morning until afternoon. Yet, 10,000 people - workers, farmers, women, the poor, students - filled the square. After the candlelight revolution brought down the conservative President Park Geun-hye, I had expected the event would be a celebration of the positive changes in inter-Korean relations and moving towards reunification.