Chaos Breaks Out at Anti-Government Rally in Downtown Seoul
Various citizens’ groups organized a large-scale rally called the “People’s Rally” held in and around Gwanghwamun Plaza in downtown Seoul on November 14. An estimated 100,000 protestors and 47,000 police officers took to the streets in protest of the government and President Park Geun Hye‘s policies, including the hotly-debated government-issued textbook.
The rally began in several locations across Seoul, including Namdaemun Plaza, Seoul Station Plaza, and Maronnier Park in Hyehwa-dong, before converging in downtown Seoul in front of City Hall. According to police, the rallies were all unauthorized, and at the time of writing at least 10 people were arrested. Of those arrested, three are high school students.
Additionally, one officer and three protestors have been admitted to area hospitals for injuries sustained during the protest as it turned progressively more violent. Protestors attempted to break past the barricade of police vans by pulling on ropes attached to the vehicles, while police attempted to disperse the crowds by using water cannons and tear gas.
One protestor in his 70s, identified only by his surname Baek, is currently in critical condition after suffering a severe head injury from being knocked down by the water cannons.
People have been taking to social media, continuously updating the situation as it occurs.
— Laura (@5sose31d) November 14, 2015
Update November 15, 12:47 a.m. KST:
An official statement from the hospital states that Mr. Baek is still alive despite previous reports, but remains in critical condition. He was knocked from his feet by the force of the cannons and pushed back 1 meter along the concrete.
Update November 15, 11:58 a.m. KST:
During the riots a total of 51 people were arrested, and tens of people were injured.