I've been talking to my friend Yongsoo from Seoul, Korea lately...and they're having some huge rallies and protests against the import of US beef. Korea signed a deal that the US could send them beef that the US can't even use for pet food! People in the US eat cows that are younger than 20 months old because only 1% of mad cow disease cases occur in that young of cow, whereas 99% of mad cow disease occurs in cows that are 30 months of age and older (the US deal allows us to sell the Koreans older cows.) Koreans use the tail and spine of the cow for many of their dishes, so mad cow disease is an even bigger deal to them than it would be to Americans who don't normally use the tail or spine of the cow.

As if this wasn't enough to make me frustrated, what infuriates me is that when 140,000 Korean people gathered yesterday to protest this policy, policemen beat civilians. There are video clips online of the horrific beatings, and Yongsoo told me about one video he watched where a policeman stomped on a woman's unprotected head. I don't know about you, but that gets my blood boiling. The Korean media is avoiding talk of the protests and beatings.

Hopefully, on Korea's independence day on Friday (June 6th) the 200,000 people that gather to protest again will not be treated in such a horrific fashion. Hopefully the Korean government will pay attention to the message that the protesters are sending. Let's all hope for the best!

Photo taken by Yongsoo Bahk. I'm asking his permission right...now...to use it. I tried to verify my information, but there aren't any news reports of this latest protest on CNN or the BBC yet, so if needed, I will revise after I get the chance to verify.
Edit: here's a link to a NY Times article about the protests, it's not about the ones I mentioned in particular, but it'll do. :D Thanks, Yongsoo, for the link!