On June 21, I posted about the criticisms I had of PD Notebook being borne out. Back on June 11, the day of the largest protest demonstrations, I said that it was the beginning of the end, that numbers would quickly dwindle, and violence would soon erupt again amongst the remaining hardcore. [HT to Korea Beat]
For all those who called me out for calling out the irrationality and violence of the protesters in my post on June 5, I invite you to pick up any newspaper or go over to the protests yourself. This has been a violent movement from jump, and it was only as the Korean public was briefly aboard the bandwagon because of other myriad frustrations that the professional agitators combed their hair and acted nice for the cameras, utilizing comic illustrations of an innocent schoolgirl holding a candle to symbolize their movement.
I called bullshit, and predicted exactly this would happen, that they'd go back to their rowdy ways. This isn't 1980 or '87, and the police are erring far too much on the side of caution and good PR. In fact, they're getting their asses kicked, and every time they strike back to bring back order, they get the picture plastered all over the Internet and the ghosts of the 1980's invoked to call them military police fascists.
I've stood amongst the hardcore protesters, I've seen them instigate, and I've seen them always stirring up shit first. And frankly, I don't support their beating up of guys who aren't "the man" but just unlucky dudes who aren't any happier about being assigned this as their military service duty than the protesters are about them being there.
Who's really the enemy here? The poor schmucks who drew riot police detail and have to hold the shields while being attacked by these thugs and aren't even allowed to fight back?
If I were the government, I'd draw a cordon all the way back to the Blue House and let the thugs have Kwanghwamun. I'm serious. People talk about the "non-violent" protests -- let the people have them and see what happens to the area. Then the people's wrath will go against the protesters and the government will earn the mandate to finally clear the streets and restore order. This is getting ridiculous.
I'm all for democratic expression of protest and civil disobedience. But there are limits, and I don't think screaming, cursing thugs who take the first opportunity to hit anyone in their way or who disagree with them count as "civil disobedience."
And I've said this from Day 1. Then, I was some apologist for the government, or some right-wing nut (of all things to be called) to some Korean friends. Funny how everyone's singing a different tune now. Too bad it takes this much idiocy to be proven right.