“Universal Day for Prevention of Militarism and Authoritarianism”
The May 18 Memorial Foundation in South Korea and the Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong call for your participation to end militarism and authoritarianism.
Please join us to designate May 18 as the “Universal Day for Prevention of Militarism and Authoritarianism” so that we have a focus in the fight to end militarism and authoritarianism and to realize democracy where everyone enjoys his/her inborn rights.
The day May 18 holds great importance not only in Korea but for the world. That day in 1980 the ten-day struggle of the May 18 Democratic Uprising began. During the Uprising, the entire city rose against the military coup to protect democracy. Regardless of the military’s violent armed suppression, people of Gwangju Jeollanamdo kept fighting while sacrificing their lives and eventually achieved what they deserve – a democratic society.
The Uprising was the turning point in the democratization and human rights movement in Korea where people realized that they are the center-force in the nation’s history, which encouraged the national democratization movement. The Uprising also had people realize that they can gain their rights through their own struggles and this visibly enhanced Korea’s human rights situation. Also, holding the two former presidents, Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo, accountable for the crimes helped other countries’ democratization in Asia, sending out a strong warning to other authoritarian regimes about consequences of their draconian actions.
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