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Gwangju Uprising

May 18th National Cemetery south korea gwangju

May 18th National Cemetery (Gwangju, South Korea)

Forty-one years ago tomorrow, a student uprising began at the university I taught at back in 2013. In Korean, the event is known as 5·18 (오일팔) or the Gwangju Democratization Struggle (광주 민주화 항쟁). 1,394 people were arrested for involvement in the Gwangju uprising, and 427 were indicted. Seven of those received death sentences and 12 received life sentences. 137 victims were carried in handcarts and garbage trucks to be buried at the Old Mangweol-dong Cemetery which has become the “new” Mangweol-dong Cemetery and is the location where today’s photo was taken.

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