, SEOUL, Oct 15 – South Korean civic and interest groups plan to push ahead with rallies before and during next month\’s G-20 summit despite massive security measures, police said Friday.
Police have been on high alert as the country prepares to host US President Barack Obama and other Group of 20 leaders at the November 11-12 gathering in southern Seoul.
South Korea sees the summit as its biggest appearance on the world stage since the Seoul Olympics in 1988.
But 81 labour and civic groups launched an umbrella protest organisation last month to stage a wave of demonstrations against the summit. Other civic and interest groups also plan separate rallies.
Hundreds of residents in an isolated slum area near the venue will hold a rally on November 4 to oppose development, police said. They have erected a 12-metre-high watchtower, vowing to continue their sit-in until the summit.
Families of those conscripted by Japan during World War II plan to stage peaceful rallies urging the United States and Japan to enact special laws compensating war victims.
"There is no law to ban registered peaceful rallies, but we will stop any illegal or violent protests especially near the venue," a police official in charge of G20 security told AFP.
Police have already outlined measures including encircling the venue with 2.2-metre (seven-foot) security fences. They have formed a special unit to protect G20 leaders.
Under current laws, those seeking to organise street rallies are required to obtain prior permission from police.
But a special law came into force this month giving police greater power to break up rallies near the venue and hotels designated for visitors.
Some 30,000 policemen plus 20,000 riot police are expected to be on security duty during the two-day summit, Yonhap news agency said.