Monday, June 30, 2008

Anti-Americanism, Anti-American Beef Protests and Televised Images

Although the number of people participating in the demonstrations against importing American beef has decreased in recent days, the demonstrations have become more clearly political in nature and more violent. Public opinion polls show that nearly 60 percent of Korean citizens think that the candlelight vigils have accomplished their goal and should cease. Polls also show that many Koreans understand that the demonstrations now continue largely to push other political issues such as opposition to privatization and reform of public TV networks or opposition to the KORUS free trade agreement. The video embedded in this post was taken some days ago, before the violent protests of this weekend. However, I share it with you because it happens (almost or surely by accident) to include some powerful symbols. Those symbols--the golden arches of McDonalds and the Burger King logo, appear in the video only because this demonstration occurred at the Sinchon Rotary where these two fast-food establishments are located.

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