Korean Comfort Women Wednesday Protests
Every Wednesday from 12 to 1 the Japanese embassy puts down their blinds and the Korean grandmothers, once the comfort women from WWII, speak out. One of the few protests allowed by the Korean government every week without question these women show up without question. This week, so did I. Fortunately, this week was the Lunar New Year and so foreigners that usually have to go to work on Wednesdays had no work this week. I’ve heard crowds at these protests can range from 20 to in the hundreds and this week with the extra foreigner power there were at least 100 people there showing thier support for these women.
They accept any and all support because this isn’t just about the Korean comfort women this is about all women who have been put into this position around the world and all people learning and accepting that this has happened and learning from the mistakes we have all made. There were also Japanese students there who had come to Korea to learn and then also learned about this issue and came to support the women. There was a Japanese man who stood to speak up and say he knows this happened during the war and he thinks the government should also accept that it has.
One of the grandmothers stood and spoke and at one point in an amusing twist turned to the police enforcing the line and told them, “you are Koreans as well, you are listening to this. Go home and tell your friends and family about this issue.” They looked around for a moment before regaining their composure. Foreigners, Japanese students and families, Koreans, grandmothers all together standing for an issue that more need to hear about.
If you want to join in any Wednesday they are there from 12 to 1 outside the Japanese Embassy located near Insadong. Exit out Anguk Station exit 6 and find a foreigner friendly map with the Japanese Embassy on it to help you find your way. At 11:45 representatives from the House of Sharing International Outreach group meet people to help guide them outside the station exit 6 as well if you can’t find your own way. The speakers are aware that foreigners come and so they speak and clearly let you know when to join in the chants. Make your voice heard.