The May 18 Memorial Foundation

The Korean website.

Linked with Application for 2009 Gwangju Asian Human Rights Folk School GAHRFS, and with 2009 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights Award Announcement.

The May 18 Memorial Foundation is a non-profit organization established on August 30, 1994 by the surviving victims of the 1980 Gwangju Democratic Uprising, the victims families, and the citizens of Gwangju. The foundation aims to commemorate as well as continue the spirit and struggle and solidarity of the May 18 Uprising; to contribute to the peaceful reunification of Korea; and to work towards peace and human rights throughout the world. Thus the spirit of the May 18 is inherited and passed on, significantly influencing the progress of democracy in Korea … (full text Organization).

english Homepage;
Gwangju Asia Human Rights Folk School GAHRFS; Democracy in Asia; Domestic Programs;
Forum; Join our Google-Groups; Testimonies; Exchanges; Solidarity;
Publications; Videos; Photos; History; Chronology: Meaning; Award; Teams and Staff; Links;
the may 18 blog on wordpress: 518 International Solidarity.
Address: The May 18 Memorial Foundation 5.18 Memorial Culture Hall Seo-Gu, Naebangro 409 Postcode, 502-260 Gwangju, Korea Republic;

Background: The most tragic and disgraceful incident in modern Korean history took place in Gwangju in May 1980. During the uprising many citizens of Gwangju were killed by soldiers. 

It started with the December 12, 1979 coup by Chun Doo-hwan’s military junta who occupied the Chonnam Provincial Hall with armed forces sent to Gwangju by the Martial Law Enforcement Headquarters. After the assassination of President Park Chung-hee, a group of politically minded soldiers undertook Operation Chungjung (Operation True Heart) to quell the uprising in Gwangju.

Subdued by brutal repression, the May 18 Democratic Uprising bore testimony to the immorality of the regime of the 5th Republic, a continuation of the autocratic Yushin Rule. It was a military dictatorship that unlawfully usurped power by force. The May 18 people’s armed uprising was an act of self-defense against the violence used by an illegitimate authority.

Today it is acknowledged and recognized as an active demonstration of the civil society’s right to resist. The spirit and ideals of May 18 are a noble heritage entrusted to us, to be elevated and celebrated. It is our responsibility to keep this history alive as a lesson for all humankind … (full text).

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