[squats-fr-diffusion] au moins 5 personnes mortes dans l'expulsion d'un squat à Seoul

nicolu nicolu at poivron.org
Mer 21 Jan 19:44:49 CET 2009

Une bataille rangée entre squatters et policiers, dans le cadre de la
lutte contre un plan d'urbanisme dans un quartier du centre ville de
seoul, et des manifestations de plus en plus tendues contre le
gouvernement et les conséquences de la crise économique. 
Après deux jours de sièges et de précédentes attaques repoussées
à coups de cocktails molotovs, la police a attaquée (voir l'article
ci-dessous), et le bâtiemnt a pris feu.
 Selon un des survivants, il pourrait y avoir en fait
jusqu'à 40 personnes mortes dans l'expulsion.


dans le timesonline

Police raid on squatters leaves five dead in building fire in Seoul
Police detain a squatter on top of a building in Seoul

(Lee Jae-Won/Reuters)

The early morning raid on the apartment block ended a 24-hour standoff
between squatters and police
Image :1 of 2
Leo Lewis in Tokyo

Police commandos today stormed a building in the heart of Seoul during a
dramatic dawn raid which left at least five people dead and 20 injured
after petrol-fuelled fire tore through the building.

Fighting between protesters and police escalated quickly, with
demonstrators hurling petrol bombs, acid and bricks down towards the
police lines.

The dead are thought to include residents of the apartment block who had
been trapped inside as flames engulfed its roof and walls. The building
is due for demolition but the redevelopment plans have met with fury and
violence from many of its inhabitants.

At least one member of the police commando was reportedly killed on the
roof, where the flames are thought to have ignited the protesters’
supplies of paint thinner and home-made explosives.
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The early morning assault on the five-storey building – a raid that
involved lowering the commandos from a crane in a steel container -
followed a near 24-hour standoff between police and about 40 squatters.

Several members of the group used Molotov cocktails to repel earlier
attempts by police to enter the building, said eyewitnesses. Police –
described by some eyewitnesses as “out to kill” the protesters -
returned fire with powerful water cannons. That tactic was met with a
salvo of makeshift missiles from the building that included golf balls
and stones.

The protest, which creates potentially huge headaches for South Korea’s
embattled president Lee Myung Bak, was being staged in opposition to
plans that would see large areas of Seoul’s central Yongsan ward
re-developed on a grand scale. The squatters’ principal grief is the low
level of compensation they are being offered for being forced out of
their homes.

The violent and deadly end to the siege highlights the extreme
volatility of public opinion in South Korea, where discontent on a wide
range of issues has sparked mass street protests and fierce
anti-government rhetoric.

In answer to growing public criticism of his handling of the economy, Mr
Lee yesterday reshuffled his cabinet, replacing many of the key
financial posts with new faces. But, significantly, the president also
replaced Seoul’s police chief over the way the mass anti-government
protests had been handled over the summer.

The protests in Seoul and other major Korean cities began over plans to
resume imports of US beef – plans which some believed posed a
BSE-related health risk. But the tone of the demonstrations quickly
morphed into a more general antipathy towards the government, which then
grew more intense as the export-led economy began to suffer in the
global financial meltdown.

Protest leaders on the streets of Seoul were not provided with a model
of stability and calm by the country’s own parliament and the seat of
its volatile democracy. Recent weeks have seen sit-in protests within
the parliament building itself, one of which culminated with a battle
involving sledgehammers, power saws and water hoses.

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The exact no. of the killed is not known. According to a TV report (by
MBC), one of the injured who was arrested by the police commandos
witnessed that only 5 people survived. Many witnesses estimate that
there were around 50 people in the building, which means about 40 people
were burnt to death.

Amanda, Seoul, 

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