Thousands Rally Over Ferry Disaster

Thousands of people rallied in the Cheonggye Plaza in downtown Seoul on Saturday to remember the victims of the ferry disaster last month and to protest against the government's handling of the aftermath.

Police estimated that around 11,000 people were in attendance while the organizers put the figure at 50,000.

The rally was organized by an alliance of over 500 civic groups without participation from the families of the victims.

Protesters confront the police on their way to Cheong Wa Dae after a rally in memory of the victims of the ferry disaster in Cheonggye Plaza, Seoul on Sunday. /Newsis Protesters confront the police on their way to Cheong Wa Dae after a rally in memory of the victims of the ferry disaster in Cheonggye Plaza, Seoul on Sunday. /Newsis

Although touted as a tribute to the victims, the political element dominated the rally. Protesters called for a special investigation team to get to the root of the ferry disaster, punishment for those responsible, and President Park Geun-hye to step down.

They held a candlelight vigil in the evening and marched from Jongno to Euljiro and Seoul Plaza.

The demonstration finished at around 10 p.m., but 115 members of several civic groups were arrested trying to enter Cheong Wa Dae.

englishnews@chosun.com / May 19, 2014 13:38 KST