On Saturday, April 28, 2012, more than one hundred CARE supporters convened at City Hall and marched to Gwangwhamun Square to protest against the”Devil Equus”.
Backstory: On Friday, April 20, 2012, a man driving a Hyundai Equus tied a dog to the trunk of his car and drove down a major highway. The dog’s organs were showing when the car came to a stop. Seocho Police have closed this case and dropped all charges.
Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth believes this hasty decision is irrational and unjustified. The public demands a thorough investigation. The Devil Equus driver broke the newly enacted Korean Animal Protection Law and does not deserve to be acquitted of all charges.
While we were getting everyone set up a cop came. He started saying that what we were doing was illegal because we didn’t get “permission” from the city to have a group gathering. After we made the human pyramid everyone got into two lines and started walking toward Seojongno Street to Kyunbokkung palace. Everyone was holding pickets and one big CARE sign.
As we were walking, there was an undercover cop (dressed in civilian clothes) that kept telling Soyoun and Wonbok Lee that this sort of gathering with pickets was illegal and that we were breaking the law.
We didn’t stop of course. We were determined to get our message delivered.
Suddenly a blockade of cops showed up. We couldnt get pass them. After arguing back and forth with one undercover cop and an official cop they said “just put down your pickets and turn them around so no one can see them. Then you can walk around freely.”
Police eventually sent cops armed with riot shields to disperse the crowd. It was intensely frustrating for police to disrupt such a powerful and peaceful protest.
The cops eventually said no one can go any further with or without pickets. At this point people were getting really angry and some were shouting, “This just like back in the 80′s!” and “This is just like North Korea!”
The cops then said, “OK, you can move along without pickets but only a few people at a time, and once those people have left, a few more people can go.” We did this for a about 10 minutes.
But by the time we got to our next position, there was already another cop blockade. And as we crossed the street we saw a group of riot shield cops running toward us.
The CARE Director told everyone to spread out in groups of two (because two people don’t count as a mob). But the cops wouldn’t let even groups of two walk pass the blockade. Some people were just trying to go home and the cops wouldn’t let them.
After pleaing with the cops for some time, they eventuallylet us through….
At the end of the protest, we successfully collected hundreds of petition signatures against the “Devil Equus” and the dog meat industry. Despite persistent provocation from police, we stood strong and displayed our message loudly. Luckily, no one was arrested.
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