Police Arrest Dozens Of South Korean Activists During
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 11, 2005
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA--Dozens of protesters, many of them wheelchair users, were arrested and detained Tuesday after several chained themselves to the gate of South Korea's government complex during a demonstration.
According to the Korea Herald, about 50 people gathered in front of Seoul's Blue House, the South Korean President's official office and residence, after two weeks of demonstrations in which the advocates asked to meet with President Roh Moo-hyun to demand the government provide more services for students with disabilities.
"The government did not respond at all to our requests," said Kim Ki-ryong, who represented a coalition advocating for the educational rights of Koreans with disabilities.
"We decided to stage a surprise protest which went to extremes because we didn't receive any response from the government during a long protest in front of the Blue House."
Advocates said the government this year slashed funding for special education while reducing the number of teachers from 444 to just 36 and the number of assistants from 3,000 to 2,500,
Hundreds of police arrived and arrested 43 people, most of them students and parents, the Herald reported.
One protester reportedly crawled out of his wheelchair and under a police bus before he was taken into custody.
There was no immediate reaction from the government about the education budget.
"Disabled protesters chain wheelchairs to building gates" (Korea Herald)