As of 8:30 pm (Seoul time) on Saturday, November 12, 2016-
South Korean media report 1 million gathered at Gwanghwamun Plaza to demand Park Geun-hye’s resignation. This is the largest protest South Korea has seen since the democratic uprising of June 1987. People from across the country, including conservative strongholds Busan and Daegu have traveled to Seoul to join the protest. Youth in school uniforms and mothers with children are among the protest.
Protesters on the way to the Blue House are blocked by a barricade of police buses near Gyeongbok Palace. The police have also blocked off entrances to subway stations between the police barricade and the presidential residence. Protesters are intent on reaching the Blue House but so far remain peaceful.
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon refused to supply water from the city’s fire hydrants to the police, which had threatened to use water cannons to block protesters. Referring to the death of farmer Baek Nam-gi, hit by a high-pressure water cannon at a mass demonstration in November 2015, Mayor Park said in a radio interview, “No more.” He added, “Water from fire hydrants is intended for putting out fires, not peaceful protests.”
A reporter outside the Blue House says protesters can be heard from the Blue House, which has been in a state of emergency since Saturday morning but has not issued an official response to the calls for the president’s resignation.
screen shots al Jazeera
The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions has vowed a general strike if Park Geun-hye refuses to resign. 150,000 workers are among the protesters at Gwanghwamun Plaza- 35,000 public sector and transport workers, 20,000 government employees, 15,000 metal workers, 15,000 service workers, 10,000 teachers, 5000 health and medical workers.
The Saenuri Party has called for an emergency meeting tomorrow amidst growing calls inside the party for Park Geun-hye to leave the party and its leadership to resign.
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