It is Saturday, September 15, 2012 and I am on a pier overlooking Gangjeong Village, the site of the Jeju Island, South Korea naval base site. Giant tetrapods, each leg of the four-legged, cement behemoths are over four feet wide and six feet long, litter the Jeju coast for what looks like about a mile.
Three visible excavators are busily scratching away at the volcanic rock coastline where at one time local fisherman used to fish, women divers dove for sea food, and the community gathered on the unusually smooth sacred rocks as they had done for hundreds of years.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeju_Province) Under Society and Culture
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Four large dredges sit in an area offshore surrounded by what looks like several miles of bright orange flotation devices that block off an area where no one is allowed to enter without risk of arrest.
Little by little, Samsung employed companies destroy the coast that many of the local inhabitants are trying, at this point in vain, to save from complete destruction as naval base proponents continue to build in the midst of local, national and international protest. It is an ugly sight.
Steel beams rising to the what appears to be 15-20 stories into the air testify to the undaunting pressure that Samsung, the Korean government and very likely the US government are utilizing to bludgeon their way past protests and into a once pristine area that was home to soft coral reefs, a small pod of Indo-Pacific dolphins, endangered Red Crabs, and a longtime source of marine-based food for local inhabitants of the small town of Gangjeong Village.
Three large cranes can be seen dispersed among the gigantic tetrapods densely scattered along the shore. One of the cranes supports a long tube that pours tons and tons of cement to cover what remains of the coast still considered sacred by the locals.
Another crane lifts I-beams and what appear to be giant cement blocks is an unsightly, ruthless and invasive act to spread militarism and strengthen an already fascist-leaning cooperation between big business and government.
Recently, on August 8, 2012, while officiating an outdoor mass near the gate of the construction site, police interrupted the mass, Father Mun Jeong-Hyun was knocked to the ground, and the consecrated Eucharist he was carrying was trampled by the police. (https://www.ucanews.com/2012/08/09/riot-police-break-up-protesters-mass/)
In the opinion of this observer acts like these are barbaric considering that peaceful village farmers (https://www.jejuweekly.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=1787),
including Catholic and Jesuit priests, opposed to base construction have also been arrested, beaten, and jailed. (https://ncronline.org/blogs/road-peace/great-peace-movement-south-korea)
May more readers become aware of the situation at Gangjeong Village, be compelled to do something about it, and help to support the local people working so hard to protect their heritage.
More information and photos can be found at (https://savejejunow.org/)