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Asean & Global Updates
POSTED | 12:03 PM | 14-11-2015

Tens of thousands march in S. Korea anti-govt protest

Police fired tear gas and water cannons on Saturday (14 Nov 2015) as they clashed with anti-government demonstrators who marched through Seoul in what was believed to be the largest protest in South Korea’s capital in more than seven years, The Associated Press reported.

About 80,000 people were expected to turn up for the downtown rallies that stretched into the evening, according to an official at the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, who didn't want to be named, citing office rules.

The marches, organized by labor, civic and farmers’ groups, brought together protesters with a diverse set of grievances against the government of conservative President Park Geun-hye, including her business-friendly labor policies and a decision to require middle and high schools to use only state-issued history textbooks starting in 2017.

Demonstrators, many of them masked, carried banners and chanted “Park Geun-hye, step down” and “No to layoffs” as they occupied a major downtown street. Some of them clashed with police, who created tight perimeters with their buses to block them.

Protesters tried to move some of the buses by pulling ropes they had tied to the vehicles, and police, wearing helmets and body armor, responded by firing tear gas and water cannons at them.

Police also fired water cannons from above a portable wall nearby to disperse marchers who were trying to advance. Some protesters fought back by hitting police officers camped on the top of the buses with poles. Others attacked the buses with sticks and rocks, or spray-painted anti-government slogans on them.

Police said it was likely some people had been injured in the clashes, but could not immediately confirm the number.

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