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Why We Were Called Rioters Essay

965 words - 4 pages

Why We Were Called Rioters

Twenty eight years ago, when I was two years old, many people died in my home town and nobody knew what happened there. President Park Chung-Hee, who was a dictator ruling for eighteen years, was assassinated on October 26, 1978. After that, army general Chun Doo-Hwan took control of the government through the revolt of December twelfth. As a result of the nation’s democratization movement, which had been pressed down during Park’s political power, exploded into nationwide demonstrations. Nevertheless, the government declared martial law which means that the army controlled the country, so democratization movement culminated at Seoul station on May 15, ...view middle of the document...

However, on May 21 about one o’clock, what happened should never have happened. The army fired at a protesting crowd and many people died. As a result, citizens began to arm themselves. Later that afternoon, through the bloody gunfights between civilian militias and the army, citizens had five days of victory. At that time my uncle could hear that gunfire and the sound of footsteps. However, on May 26, the army was ready to attack the city, and on May 27 troops from five divisions moved into downtown and defeated the civil militias in only ninety minutes. This result was very obvious and everybody knew it.
Why would citizens fight solders and government by sacrificing their lives? One of reasons was that they wanted to protect their families from the soldiers. Otherwise, they were eager for democratization, so there were lots of meanings. At first, this movement failed by bloody repression, but it became evidence of military government evildoing. Second, it reconfirmed that citizens were the motive power of democratic ideas improving and settled to my country’s democratization, independent units, and social advance movements. Third, it made us change the image of the USA, because the USA continued to support military government during the 1980s, so that many Koreans were against the USA because they interfered with Korea. In addition, it judged illegitimate military government which took the power through military force and acknowledged that arms’ contending is justifiable against violent power. Also, it settled most marvelous symbol of public contending in my mind and my father’, uncle’s and citizens’. Finally it eventually brought democracy to South Korea; it changed from military government and created real direct president elections on June 29, 1987. Therefore, it not only affected the great democratization movement, but also showed that the people were not rioters, but peaceful protestors.
However, history...

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