White Paper Tallies Damage from Beef Protests

      August 31, 2009 10:54

      The process of prosecuting the instigators of massive protests against the import of U.S. beef that paralyzed government for months last year has yet to be completed. Individuals arrested for leading the protests were all set free on bail and their trials have been provisionally halted. The numbers emerge from a white paper on the protests published by the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office on Sunday.

      According to the white paper, the candlelight protest dragged on for 106 days from May 2 until Aug. 15, with 2,398 separate rallies drawing 932,000 people. Some 1,476 protesters were indicted for participating in illegal and violent protests, 43 were arrested, 165 booked without detention and 1,050 charged with minor offenses and let go.

      A total of 684,540 riot police from 7,606 squadrons were mobilized to deal with the protests. One-hundred police officers suffered serious injuries and 401 light ones. Eighty-eight civilians were seriously injured.

      According to data from the Korea Economic Research Institute, which the white paper was based on, the candlelight protests caused a total of W1.574 trillion (US$1=W1,245) in economic damage.

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