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Myriad Mourners Brave Snow for Yongsan Victims' Funeral
By Alex Ahn
Staff Reporter
Funeral procession of Yongsan victims goes on in downtown Seoul on Jan. 10, 2010.

Tens of thousands of South Koreans braced for bitter cold weather and snow to mourn the tragic death of the five demonstrators in downtown Seoul on Jan. 10, 2010.

The funeral of five victims of Yongsan disaster took place in downtown Seoul on the day with thousands of mourners and sympathizers attending.

The memorial march started around noon on the day from the Seoul Train Station and proceeded to the building near Yongsan Train Station, where the five protesters were killed by fire in police raid a year ago.

On the march some 3,000 participants mourned over the death of the victims whose body had been kept in the hospital morgue for over a year due to the refusal of apology and compensation from the government.

The mourners were nearly from all walks of life: Opposition party leaders, religious leaders, civil activists, and students.

“We will remember the noble sacrifice of the victims and will continue our fight against opporession from the government” said Mr. Kang Ki-Kap, chairperson of the minor opposition Democratic Labor Party. “We will fight for social justice and truth.”

The marchers were blocked by riot police but they finally arrived at the Yongsan Tragedy site at 6 p.m. They had to brace bitter cold weather of minus 15 degrees Celcius.

One of the marchers said “police are afraid of us and it looks like they are trying to stop us in the hope that we might give up and go home because of cold weather and snow.”

The funeral march ended around 6 p.m. at the Yongsan Tragedy site. The marchers shouted anti-Lee Myung-Bak and anti-government slogans.

“Down with Killer Regime,” marchers raised their voice while others shouted “Down with Lee Myung-Bak.”

After the funeral ceremony on the site the funeral procession headed the burial site at Maseok Cemetary in Namyangju City, Gyeonggi Province.

The five victims of Yongsan Tragedy were killed on the 20th Jan 2009 when the riot police raided the roof top of four-story building where they were demanding for the compensation of their being driven out of their houses and shops under the new municipal redevelopment plan.

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