2014-02-25 text and video by Richard Chen [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14r_hOaD6dM]:
On February 25th, 2014, a United Front rally was held in front of the Korean Consulate in San Francisco in defense of the Korean Rail Workers Union (KRWU).
This is the third demonstration in the last four months. At the last rally (January 17, 2014), the Korean Consulate, working with the US State Department, attempted to disrupt the rally by organizing right-wing Koreans in a counterdemonstration. The right wingers also attempted to disrupt this rally, but this time they were outnumbered and drowned out by union supporters and a contingent of drummers and youth from the Korean and Asian/Pacific Islander communities.
The KRWU waged the longest rail strike in South Korean history in December 2013 against a privatization drive by the right-wing government of Park Geun-hye. The Park government declared the strike illegal, put out arrest warrants for the union leadership and forced them into hiding.
On December 22nd, 2013, the Park government then assaulted the offices of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) with 5,000 police, who used tear gas and pepper spray on protesters. 130 unionists were arrested and the government succeeded in breaking the strike. As of this writing, the government intends to continue privatizing the railways.
The demonstration coincides with a "People's Strike" organized by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) on the same day. The KRWU and other Korean unions went on a one-day strike, and a mass rally drew 100,000.
Organizations which endorsed the rally:
Transport Workers Solidarity Committee - San Francisco Labor Council - Sacramento Labor Council - Inlandboatmen's Union/ILWU SF Bay Area - United Public Workers for Action - Workers World - Socialist Organizer - ANSWER Coalition SF Bay Area - Communist Workers Group - International Bolshevik Tendency - Hella Organized Bay Area Koreans (HOBAK) - Inter-Union Organizing Committee at CDPH - Labor Video Project - Facts for Working People - International Action Center - International Socialist Organization - Social Justice Committee, Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists