The reason why the disabled demonstrated passionately
The reason why the disabled demonstrated passionately
  • Kim Young-jun
  • 승인 2022.06.13 15:56
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▲Disabled people demonstrate in a subway station on January 3.  The sign says  a presidential candidate to guarantee the rights of the disabled (source=yna.co.kr)
▲Disabled people demonstrate in a subway station on January 3. The sign says a presidential candidate to guarantee the rights of the disabled (source=yna.co.kr)

"Can you fight for the rights and budget of the disabled?"


 The voices of disabled people on the protest echoed in the subway. Disabled people are demonstrating on most Seoul subway lines for their right to mobility. They ask to guarantee only the right to move, a basic human right necessary to`1` live. In this discrimination, Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination said, "Because I took the subway at that time which people go to work, I will handle a lot of swear words and hate expressions. I understand the swear words of citizens on their way to work”. They also said, "Even if Korean society shouts for 20 years, a society of indifference and inequality that does not guarantee the basic and minimum rights of severely disabled people should be changed." To sum up what the disabled want, there are 10 demands which have the contents like education of the disabled, the welfare budget for guarantee of the disabled, etc.


 These recent discriminations were not the first time that these demonstrations were held. The protests have been held for 20 years since 2001. Because of this discrimination, the workers had no choice except to be late. Demonstrations on subways held the purpose of informing the non-disabled of the struggles disabled people face.


 In 2001, a disabled couple in their 70s crashed after a problem with a wheelchair lift occurred at the station in Siheung, Gyeonggi Province. This incident prompted demonstrations demanding the installation of elevators and the introduction of low-floor buses. Although the representatives of Seoul accepted the needs of the disabled, but those which the disabled wanted didn’t take effect. For example, Lee Myung-bak, the former mayor of Seoul, promised to install all elevators in subway stations by 2004, but it was not kept until now. The mind of the disabled was hurt by coming these things together. This led to continuous movement of the disabled, “demonstrations”. The disabled people tried to solve the problem of the rights of mobility for enough time for a child to become an adult.


 The disabled who have tried to guarantee their rights have been reprimanded by many non-disabled people because they didn't guarantee their rights until now well. Kim Do-hyun, a research activist at the Nodeul Disability Studies Institute, said the protest was a civil disobedience movement and a direct non-violent action. This is because they believe their demonstration methods violated non-disabled people’s rights. The demonstration made non-disabled people keep waiting for a time that the disabled demonstrated. However, from the standpoint of disabled people, they had to demonstrate illegally like subway demonstrations to attract the attention of society because everything they had requested had not been done.


 Because of these reasons, the disabled chose the way which damaged the convenient facilities like subway by invading the rights of non-disabled. According to Police, the activities which covered the wall with posters which have the content of subway discriminations and occupying subway stations by force were all illegal behavior.


▲The graph how CUK students think whether the illegal way which the disabled chose is appropriate.
▲The graph how CUK students think whether the illegal way which the disabled chose is appropriate.


 The method that the disabled demonstrated on subways is judged illegal. Because of that, people reproached them. Nevertheless, there are two opinions which one is appropriate, and the other is inappropriate. One person who wait subways to go to work said, “Considering that disabled people have been using transportation uncomfortably all their lives, I can bear the inconvenience of going to work for a while”. However, another person who used subways said, “They can argue, but they should not make citizens uncomfortable” Actually according to the progressed surveys, that showed the results which is divided of two opinions. One opinion had the content which the illegal way which the disabled chose was good to show their purposes to people by giving a shock. However, another opinion had the content which the way was too negative to show opinions of the disabled.


 The disabled have long been willing to accept their inconvenience, and this demonstration is also a stepping stone towards the next stage. Non-disabled people should pay attention to ensuring the right of movement of the disabled, the government should pay attention to ensuring that their right to live is fully guaranteed

 The demonstration of the disabled in trains was an incident that hurt both disabled and non-disabled people. Since people with disabilities need a lot of effort and time to move around, non-disabled people should think about what kind of efforts they should make to solve their inconvenience through this demonstration and understand the pain of the disabled people. The value of “Understanding” is important in this case. The disabled and non-disabled need to understand the events that led up to the illegal demonstration.


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