When the motion for arrest of Lee Jae-myeong, leader of the Democratic Party of Korea, was passed at the plenary session of the National Assembly on the afternoon of the 21st, sighing continued among Lee’s supporters gathered in Yeouido, Seoul. The exit from the National Assembly Station was closed, and the area in front of the Democratic Party building was filled with angry supporters.
When news broke that the arrest motion had been passed, Representative Lee’s supporters looked excited, saying they could not believe the result. Starting at 5:45 p.m., about 100 supporters of Representative Lee, who laid down mats in the alley in front of the Democratic Party headquarters, held signs that read, “The Democratic Party can survive only when Lee Jae-myung survives,” and shouted slogans such as “Let’s protect Lee Jae-myung먹튀검증.”
Yoon Yong-du (54), who attended the rally held in front of the National Assembly Station on Subway Line 9 from 11 a.m. on this day, said, “I was sad to hear the news of the passage,” and added, “We gathered here today to hold a cultural rally as much as possible, and we will return home as soon as it is over.” He said.
The entrance to the Democratic Party building was shuttered and surrounded by police riot police. About 60 supporters of Representative Lee held loudspeakers and shouted, “Why can’t we enter the party building?” Supporters held up simple posters with words such as ‘Democratic Party of Korea’ written on them. One woman even sat in front of a police shield and sobbed. Some supporters hurled expletives at police blocking the building.
Mr. Kim, a member of the ‘Candlelight Solidarity’ who has been staging a homeless sit-in protest by setting up a blue tent in front of the Democratic Party headquarters for four days, said, “I did not expect it to pass at all,” and added, “We will continue to protest here and warn those who voted against in the future to drive them out of the Democratic Party.” He said. Mr. Kim said, “I was going to go home if it was rejected today, but now I have to stay indefinitely.”
Police estimated that about 4,000 people participated in the rally held near the National Assembly Station in the morning. The police placed bus barriers around the National Assembly to prepare for unexpected situations.
At one point on this day, as Lee’s supporters, excited by the news of the passage of the arrest motion, attempted to enter the National Assembly, the police closed exits 1 and 6 of National Assembly Station on Subway Line 9. One of Lee’s supporters was arrested on charges of pushing and pulling a fire shutter and damaging property by assaulting a police officer.