(Note: updated details, added photos)
SEOUL, Jan. 3 (Yonhap) — Subway workers blocked a group of disability rights activists from holding a subway protest during Tuesday morning rush hour. This comes a day after authorities used force for the first time to deter them from his year-long protests.
Since late last year, the Solidarity Against Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (SADD) has run intermittent subway trains at major stations in central Seoul, calling for increased government budgets to protect the rights of persons with disabilities, including the right to move. I went to protest to ride.
Wheelchair-bound activists have repeatedly boarded and disembarked trains during the morning rush hour for causing delays in subway services, drawing complaints from commuters.
At the latest protest on Tuesday, about 20 SADD members boarded subway line 4 at Sungshin Women’s University station around 8 a.m. and got off at Dongdaemun History and Culture Park station.
After getting off the train, the activists tried to get back on the train, but Seoul subway officials prevented them from entering, sparking protests from activists.
“Let’s take the subway. People with disabilities are citizens too,” he shouted.
The confrontation lasted for hours and about 200 riot police were dispatched to the scene.
The confrontation ensued on Monday in a 13-hour shoving match between activists and authorities at Samgakchi Station on Line 4.
From Monday morning to night, up to 640 riot police were mobilized to prevent dozens of SADD activists from boarding the subway. For the first time, physical force was used to seriously counter the subway protests.
Thirteen subway trains passed through Samgakji Station without stopping during the 13-hour conflict, citing the Railroad Safety Act, which prohibits commotion at stations and facilities.
At a press conference, SADD vowed to continue its protests by subway during weekday morning rush hours at Samgakji station near the presidential palace, stating, I realized again that it was only the president.”