The People Of Jeju Island Continue Protest For Peace Over Christmas

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Above: Christmas mass at Gangjeong village at the gate of the naval base they oppose.Note: The people of Jeju Island, the Peace Island, in South Korea have been protesting the building of a naval base on their Island. Their protests continue over the Christmas season.

The Spirit of Christmas: Gangjeong Style

Christmas in Gangjeong, and still the construction of the massive naval base to accommodate America’s “Pivot to Asia” continues without a break. And, today, as they do everyday, the priests, nuns, villagers and their supporters celebrate mass and pray for peace.

Today, Bishop Peter Kang, the Bishop of Jeju, came to Gangjeong to celebrate Christmas mass at the gate of the base in freezing weather.

Bishop-Kang-xmas Jeju Island Christmas  Christmas mass at the gate of the base in freezing weather.

Bishop-Kang-xmas Jeju Island Christmas Christmas mass at the gate of the base in freezing weather.

Grace Kim is a Korean, who went abroad at quite an early age. She went to high school and college in the US and has been living in Berlin for the last 5 years studying Visual and Media Anthropology at Freie University. Grace is in Gangjeong for three months keeping a daily video diary as she conducts her research.

When I went to Gangjeong, I learned that each of us has a voice and that with knowledge comes responsibility. The least we can do is to amplify the voices of Gangjeong and do what we can to bring justice and peace to our world.

I wanted to share this wonderful video Grace posted today, Christmas 2013. It clearly demonstrates the indomitable spirit of the people of Gangjeong in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, and yet the villagers and their supporters who come from Jeju, the mainland, and around the world have found their own voices and are doing their part to amplify the message of Gangjeong: Peace on Earth!

Photos by Choe Hye-young and Rom