| President George W Bush |
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Sent via facsimile: (202) 456-2461
Dear President Bush:
BAYAN-USA is an alliance of progressive Filipino groups in the U.S. representing organizations of students, scholars, women, workers, and youth. BAYAN-USA stands in solidarity with the peace defenders in Daechuri and Doduri, South Korea that are refusing to surrender their homes and land to the U.S. military base in Pongtaek. BAYAN-USA demands an end to the forced eviction of Pyeongtaek farmers in South Korea and calls on the U.S. and South Korean governments to re-negotiate the planned expansion of the U.S. military base in Pyeongtaek.
The South Korean government publicly announced that by the end of August it plans to forcibly remove ALL peace defenders who have reclaimed empty houses in the Daechuri and Doduri villages of Pyeongtaek. In May 2006, 500 local farmers and activists were seriously injured when 15,000 military and riot police were deployed to the village of Pyeongtaek. The presence of peace defenders and outside witnesses in Daechuri and Doduri is essential to prevent more such human rights violations.
The rich farmlands surrounding Daechuri and Doduri have sustained local farmers for decades. These lands that give life to the villagers of Pyeongtaek will be destroyed in order to expand the residences and leisure complexes of U.S. military personnel. The expansion is going ahead despite indications by the U.S. and South Korean governments that the deployment of U.S. troops in South Korea will be reduced. BAYAN-USA denounces the offering up of rich farmland to U.S. war-making infrastructure.
The forcible displacement of Pyeongtaek’s farmers violates the housing rights specified in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Culture Rights, and the freedoms of body, of residence and transfer, of expression and of association as specified in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Korean government is party to both of these agreements. BAYAN-USA supports the activities of the Pan-S. Korea Solution Committee Against U.S. Base Expansion in Pyeongtaek, comprised of more than 140 member organizations including farmers, labor and other civil society organizations in South Korea, and calls on the your administration to bring a halt to the human rights violations in Pyeongtaek.
STOP the Forced Eviction of Pyeongtaek Farmers in South Korea!
Withdraw troops from Daechuri and Doduri immediately!
Re-negotiate the Planned Expansion of the U.S. Military Base in Pyeongtaek!
Chito Quijano, Spokesperson