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30.04.00
The Korea Herald

Students clash with riot police in pre-May Day rally in Seoul

A pre-May Day rally held in Seoul Saturday by an umbrella labor group turned
violent when militant students wielding wooden sticks and hurling stones
clashed with riot police.#

Hundreds of protesters, mostly members of the Federation of Korean
University Student Councils, resorted to violent shoving and stone-throwing
when riot police blocked their route to downtown streets.

A number of students and riot police were injured in the clash, two of them
seriously.

Protesters occupied a key road in Chongno for about an hour, causing serious
traffic congestion.

In what may signal the start of the annual "spring struggle," an estimated
15,000 unionists, farmers and students gathered at Seoul Station earlier in
the day to protest government-led restructuring.

At the rally, the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) accused the
government of turning the country over to foreigners.

"The government has sold us out and reduced the nation to little more than
an economic colony of foreign investors," said KCTU chief Dan Byung-ho.

Dan further criticized the government for creating an atmosphere in which
the rich get richer and the poor poorer.

The KCTU issued a resolution demanding a five-day workweek,
non-discrimination against contract workers, suspension of the overseas sale
of domestic automakers and a 15.2 percent wage increase.

The labor group intends to repeat its demands during a general strike
planned for May 31.

by Kim Min-hee Staff reporter

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