Itaewon Tragedy Survivors March to Presidential Office: Call for ‘Special Act’
On the 29th, the families of the victims of the October 29 Itaewon tragedy, along with the Civil Countermeasures Committee and the Bereaved Families Council, held a full-body prostration march to the Presidential Office in Yongsan, demanding the enactment of the Itaewon Tragedy Special Act.”
Before the march, they held a press conference in front of Itaewon Station Exit 1, where the tragedy occurred, stating, “We took to the streets to express our desperate plea before the government’s final decision is announced.”
The government is expected to propose to President Yoon Suk Yeol to exercise the veto power (right to demand reconsideration) regarding the special act at the Cabinet meeting on the 30th.
In their appeal, they emphasized, “We cannot accept the reports that the government will announce the exercise of veto power and the provision of support measures for bereaved families at the Cabinet meeting. The bereaved families want the proclamation of a special act to clarify the truth and only the truth.”
The press conference was attended by representatives from religious organizations such as the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism’s Social Labor Committee, the Catholic Justice Peace Environment Committee, the Christian Gathering to Remember and Act on the October 29 Itaewon Tragedy, and the Won Buddhism Civil Society Network.
A total of 100 people participated in the full-body prostration, including 70 bereaved family members and 30 members of the religious and civil society.
Lee Jung-min, the chairman of the Bereaved Families Council, appealed, “Please proclaim the special act to alleviate the pain of families who lost their children overnight and wander in pain every day. We hope for a thorough investigation to leave no doubt about the deaths of our children.”
They chanted slogans containing the contents of the proclamation of the special act and the refusal of veto power and held picket signs.
They continued the march by performing a full-body prostration on the road for 1.4 kilometers (0.87 miles) from Itaewon Station Exit 1 to the front of the Presidential Office in Yongsan.
Previously, the police banned protests and rallies before the Presidential Office in Yongsan, which has been designated as a major road since last October. Still, the court accepted the bereaved families’ request for a stay of execution against police prohibition, making the full-body prostration possible on the day.
The bereaved families of the Itaewon tragedy have been demanding the proclamation of the special act, which passed the plenary session of the National Assembly under the opposition party’s lead on the 9th, alongside the shaving of their heads, a 15,900-fold bow, and request to meet the President.