2018 December SU:P Newsletter (Vol.44)

Editor’s letter
Every year, it feels as if time flies by, as if the days contain less hours; and the hours, less minutes. Yet, when one looks back to the beginning of the year, the events appear to have happened long two or three years ago.
Much has happened this year in Korea and the world. In the Korean Peninsula, we’ve continued down the path towards peace. Yet, there is still far to go in changing the socio-political structures of Korea. Likewise, around the world, people attempt to overcome these limits through left and right populism. We might not have achieved major breakthroughs, but we are learning better what works and what does not. No doubt, one day, these quantitative changes will lead to qualitative ones — hopefully accelerated through international solidarity and exchange.
This year, our articles shifted from a newsletter format to separate articles or groupings of them. We have been fortunate to get our articles published at Ohmynews also. While we still have a long way to go, we’ve acquired new writers and editors to join in this quest. Of course, none of it would matter without you the reader.
As always, thank you for your interest and attention. We know there is a lot of information out there and we appreciate you considering our take on the world. Strength, struggle, and growth for the new year.
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1. Is the Moon Administration Still a Part of the Candlelight Revolution?
Moon was put into power by the candlelight revolution fight against corruption and yearning for a better society. Thus, Moon has a mandate to push fundamental reforms to South Korea’s politico-economic structure. Yet, over a year and a half into his term, Moon’s administration has yet to challenge the chaebol (conglomerate) dominated politico-economic structure. His impatience and myopic economic vision are yielding timid and lukewarm economic policies while his actions point towards a dangerously comfortable and intimate relationship with chaebols not different from the disgraced and toppled Park administration. To extirpate Korea’s deep rooted corruption requires challenging Moon towards bolder reforms. (read)

2. Reflection: Going to Meet History
“Visiting these spaces of labor history and activism showed me the power of meeting with activists themselves. Sitting face to face with them authenticates history in ways that facts and figures cannot. They showed me that there is still work to be done, and their gaze made me question whether I help or hinder the cause. I now recognize the relationship between my earning and spending money in Korea, and the labor issues it intersects with. Recognizing this privilege prompts me to find ways to take action and take responsibility for making a positive impact in Korean society. I have the exceptional honor of working with young students, and perhaps the opportunity to sow some small seeds for change.”  (read)

3. Reflection: Occupy the Blue House
“My greatest impression from that day was the teachers’ honesty, sincerity and commitment to justice. Unions in the rest of the world can learn from the KTU’s focus on issues outside of work conditions and their protest tactics. Canada Post workers and their union the CUPW have had to resort to more militant protests to fight for their legal right to strike and to fight neoliberalism unions around the world will have to learn to adopt more militant protest tactics to protect basic rights.” (read)