For the second year in a row, residents of Hapcheon, Gyeongnam, the hometown of the late former president Chun Doo-hwan, held their own commemoration ceremony to honor the May 18th uprising. During the ceremony, residents demanded the renaming of Ilhae Park, which is named after Jeon’s arc, and placed “demolition” signs on the marker stones.
“The ‘Hapcheon County People’s Movement to Reclaim the Forest of Life’ held a commemoration ceremony for the ’43rd Anniversary of the 5-18 Democratization Movement’ in Hapcheon on May 18 and issued a joint resolution demanding a name change for ‘Ilhae Park,'” the 5-18 Memorial Foundation said on May 21.
Hapcheon, Gyeongsangnam-do, is the hometown of Mr. Jeon, who is considered the top leader of the May 18 massacre. Hapcheon County changed the name of the “Millennium Forest of Life” park, which opened in 2004, to “Ilhae Park” in 2007, after Mr. Jeon’s nickname. Residents have been demanding the park’s name be changed for 16 years.
In a resolution issued after a ceremony at the park, the Hapcheon County People’s Movement Headquarters said, “This is a place that supports and honors Jeon Doo-hwan, who trampled on Gwangju and murdered the people. “Before the President and the National People’s Power can invoke the holy spirit of May Day, they should clean up the filth of Ilhae Park committed by the head of the National People’s Power organization,” the group said.
“We have been fighting with Hapcheon County for 16 years over the name of the park,” they said, “and on the occasion of the May 18th anniversary, in solidarity with the residents and the people토토사이트, we pledge to exert all our efforts to realize the May spirit in Hapcheon.”
Residents of Hapcheon, Gyeongnam, the hometown of Jeon Doo-hwan, hold a ceremony to commemorate May 18 in Hapcheon on May 18. They are also demanding a name change for Ilhae Park. Courtesy of the 5-18 Memorial Foundation.
The Hapcheon Citizens’ Movement Headquarters said that if the military does not change the name of the park within a month, it will request an audit from higher authorities and form a “public discussion committee” to gather public opinion. The organization also plans to publicize the reality of Ikhae Park and find ways for people to protest directly.
Hapcheon residents who are demanding a change in the name of Ilhae Park also traveled to Gwangju in 2021 to visit the National 5-18 Democracy Cemetery. Since last year, Hapcheon has been holding a separate ‘5-18 Memorial Ceremony’.
The 5-18 Memorial Foundation said, “It is against the flow of history to set ‘Ilhae’ as the name of the park even though Jeon Doo-hwan has already been convicted by the Supreme Court.” “We urge Hapcheon-gun to change the name of Ilhae Park to provide a more meaningful space for the public,” it said.