We've just learned that the three Veterans For Peace members who arrived in Jeju Island, South Korea yesterday were denied entry into the country.
Tarak Kauff, Elliott Adams, and Mike Hastie were met by South Korean authorities when they landed on Jeju Island. Tarak and Elliott flew to Jeju via Shanghai, China and Mike from Seoul. The South Korean authorities had a photo of each of them in their hands and told them they would not be allowed to enter Jeju Island.
When Tarak and Elliott arrived in Shanghai they were told that they each had to pay $280 for the change in flight schedule. But Tarak told the Chinese that they had just been denied entry into South Korea because they were going to protest against a Navy base that was being aimed at China. When the Chinese airline staff heard that they waived the $280 fee for each of them.
Tarak, Elliott and Mike are severely disappointed that they will not be able to stand with the people of Gangjeong village on Jeju Island. South Korean members of VFP were planning on flying from Seoul to Jeju Island to meet with the American VFP members.
Just yesterday Angie Zelter (UK) and Benji Monnet (France) were deported from South Korea after being arrested for protesting against the Navy base.
Please help send a strong message to the South Korean government by calling and/or organizing a protest at the nearest South Korean embassy/consulate to your community.
Also call the South Korean embassy in Washington DC 202-939-5692 or 202-939-5600 to lodge a strong complaint about them denying the three VFP members entry to Jeju Island.
Can there be an question that we are now living in a corporate dominated police state?
Please remember too that the South Korean corporation Samsung is the lead contractor building the Navy base on Jeju. Boycott Samsung!
Here is what Elliott wrote in an email:
We, Tarak and Elliott, just arrived back in the US. When we arrived at the airport on Jeju (we flew in from Shanghai) they were looking for us. They had our photos printed out. They put us right back on the same plane. We do wonder if we could have some how mounted meaningful resistance there in the immigration office, but I doubt it. We feel terrible that we are not with everyone in Gangjeong especially after the deportation of Benji and Anne.
Mike Hastie got on the plane to Jeju from the mainland and then after a 10 minutes they came and got him off. 6:49 PM Pacific time he was in the detention room in Seoul due to be shipped out to San Francisco at 4:20PM Korea time.
They obviously plan to try to keep internationals out of Jeju. We, internationals, need to work to raise international awareness, disgust, and pressure.