Protests this past weekend were the largest and most violent. As more than 40,000 people gathered in front of Seoul City Hall on Saturday night, police used water cannons to stop them from marching on the president's office. More than 220 people were arrested.I only protest about beef when MacKenzie refuses to let me eat it. The South Koreans' protests are based on bizarre mistruths:
Rumors spread on the Internet that school lunch programs would be a dumping ground for cheap and potentially deadly American beef. Lee's government tried and largely failed to knock down the rumors and assorted alarmist media reports, one of which claimed Koreans were more genetically vulnerable to mad cow disease than Americans.My sister is actually over there now, and she's blogging about her experiences. For firsthand eyewitness accounts of the beef controversy now taking place, read this and this. She has plenty of other interesting insights, too, like how South Korea is not a good place to be when you are a nerd.
Cha Yoon-min, 13, attended the protest with his mother, a lawyer in Seoul. "I am afraid of American beef," he said. "I could study hard in school. I could get a good job and then I could eat beef and just die."