December 20, 2022
SEOUL – As authorities attempt to block disabled protesters from disrupting subway operations, activists on wheelchairs said they have decided to stage a demonstration without informing the authorities of the location.
Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination, the country’s largest disability rights group, unveiled the location of its Monday protest on social media, just 8 minutes before it began.
The protest began around 8 a.m. Monday at City Hall Station on Line No. 1, which delayed subway operations as they repeatedly got on and off at each station.
Activists from SADD have been staging rush-hour subway protests since December 2021 by repeatedly exiting and entering trains on wheelchairs. The protests have raised ire among commuters for causing significant delays.
SADD had said Sunday that it will shift to guerrilla-style demonstrations to counter the authorities’ attempt to dissolve their actions.
The authorities decided on Dec. 13 that trains would skip Samgakji Station on Subway Line Nos. 4 and 6 for a protest scheduled for the following day. Samgakji Station is where SADD usually begins its protests.
On Dec. 14, Seoul Metro blocked some protesters from boarding the train at Samgakji Station’s Line No.4, and the train skipped the station.
The authorities’ decision to skip the station is an excessive violation of the group’s basic rights to freedom of protest, it added.