The day was good but a little rough. After a disturbed sleep of under seven hours I got up at five o'clock so as to get to the subway and make it to the 7:20 a.m. train on time.
I had hoped to sleep on the train but an odd situation prevented me from relaxing enough. Though the car was nearly empty for the first leg of the trip, a guy had been assigned the seat number next to me and took it. I felt very uncomfortable--I even asked to check his ticket. The dope didn't have the presence of mind to take one of the many unoccupied seats. Ironically, his destination was the station where the train usually fills up--Daegu. What a nerd!
Then the plastic bags guy landed beside me and you know what that's like. I'm sure he could get a tote bag or rucksack or something in lieu of the plastic bags.
Anyway, the trip was well worth it. We had a very productive meeting at the labour office. K(SH) joined us for the first time, though he's heard about us and done some translation for the labor activists before. It was really helpful in that he is a pro interpreter. It allowed the conversation to move more quickly and the English and Korean speakers to speak more freely.
Everyone agreed to step up our work with more analysis and action. Right away, K(SH) told us about the youth movement podcasts, a campaign of political education through satire and discussion. The approach is to attract and engage the youth by appealing to what interests them and then show connections and offer facts and different perspectives. There is some coherency in that they address a set of issues and take consistent anti-government and anti-capitalist positions.
Then CwJ introduced his proposal to do some support work for political prisoners. Individuals are being arrested on the dubious grounds of inciting insurrection for voicing interest in reunification and paying North Korean society compliments, or being publicly critical of the government. There are about 40 such prisoners in Korean prisoners at this time. The national support committee for them wants some involvement of foreigners in order to raise international attention and build its prestige and influence.
We also discussed some action to oppose nuclear weapons and energy. We settled on a project to send a delegation to Nagasaki on the anniversary of the H-bomb explosion on August 9. We discussed who to approach and how so that we could get an invitation to Nagasaki and get other organizations in various countries to join in.
Then we talked about the overall political situation and had updates from several sectors. It looks like the summer is going to be extra hot as agitations are sure to get stronger and more persistent.
As usual, our hosts treated us to lunch and this time we enjoyed a lovely Chinese style meal. Then we parted ways. S wanted me and K to hang out with him. He was going near the train station, so I agreed. We followed him around the supermarket then sat in a cafe for a while.
The return trip was much more comfortable but I did not really sleep. I read.
The Three Musketeers is a long book! It's hard to keep track of the plot but it is filled with comedy and action.
I'm kind of beat. Good night.