40 Years ago ...

1980 - 2020

in German language


May 1980

(collection of texts from "Roter Morgen"

Central Organ of the KPD/ML



40th Anniversary of Gwangju People's Uprising


Today marks the 40th anniversary of the heroic Gwangju People's Uprising which took place in the city of Gwangju, south Korea, from May 18-28, 1980.

South Korean troops stormed the city of Kwangju, the center of the popular uprising that had unfolded in the southwest of the country. The command was given by the United Nations High Command of the United States-South Korea. In other words:

He came from Washington. There they want to consolidate the dictatorship of General Cun. Chained together like cattle: More than 4,000 people were arrested in Kwangju, beaten down, shot and hung up. This is how Jimmy Carter's puppets answer against overthrow of fascism. More than a quarter of the 800,000 residents of Kwangju actively participated in the fight against the military dictatorship. The armed popular uprising initially failed because it could not be organized beyond Kwangju and the neighboring cities.

Despite all attempts to downplay these processes, it can no longer be denied that at least 500 people were murdered, over 2000 injured, and countless arrested. The frenzied Soldateska, equipped with $ 8 million from Washington, will continue to drive up the blood toll of the South Korean population. But the protests, the struggle continues. Not all armed bastions have fallen yet, there are demonstrations in Mokpo, but also in Seoul. Meanwhile, military terror is raging in the concentration camps to take revenge at the demonstrators.

The Gwangju People's Uprising was a glorious revolutionary action undertaken to oppose the brutal military dictatorship of General Chun Doo-hwan. Chun had seized power by means of a U.S.- engineered military coup imposing martial law in South Korea in May 1980.
The Gwangju People's Uprising was triggered by student demonstrations on the morning of May 18 in defiance of the new military edict closing the universities and stifling any political dissent. A Special Forces unit trained for counterrevolutionary missions was dispatched to smash the uprising. The Special Forces used tear gas, batons and rubber bullets to try and suppress the uprising but the insurgents took to the streets. Then the military opened fire, killing close to two hundred people and wounding hundreds more.Gwangju, Korea, May 18, 1980: Soldiers are deployed against the people to brutally quell the Gwangju Uprising.
On May 20, some 10,000 people seized these weapons, buses, taxis and even armoured personnel carriers, forming armed militias to fight the army. On May 21, the Special Forces were forced to withdraw and the city fell to the insurgents.
The people organized themselves into citizens' committees to ensure the well-being and security of everyone. Food, medical and transportation systems were organized and lively political discussions took place where the people gathered to discuss the nexts steps of struggle against the U.S. occupation of South Korea and the overthrow of the military dictatorship.

On May 24, 15,000 people gathered in memory of those who died at the beginning of the uprising at the hands of Special Forces. On May 25, about 50,000 people gathered for a rally in Gwangju and adopted a resolution calling for the abolition of martial law.

Soon after this, the U.S. government of Jimmy Carter intervened because the Gwangju Uprising was seen as a threat to U.S. strategic interests on the Korean peninsula and Asia. The U.S. ordered the Chun regime to move troops from the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) separating north and south Korea and to re-occupy Gwangju. On May 27, at 3:30 am, the army swarmed Gwangju in Operation Fascinating Vacations. The people of Gwangju resisted courageously against this act of state-terror.

In the ensuing battle, thousands of civilians were killed and close to 15,000 people were injured. More than 1,500 people were taken into custody and many were tortured. Seven people were executed and 14 received life sentences for taking a stand against the U.S.-sponsored military dictatorship and to demand their rights.

In the ensuing battle, thousands of civilians were killed and close to 15,000 people were injured. More than 1,500 people were taken into custody and many were tortured. Seven people were executed and 14 received life sentences.

The Gwangju People's Uprising delivered a decisive blow to U.S. imperialism on the Korean peninsula.

Hail the 40th Anniversary of the Heroic Gwangju People's Uprising!


Down with fascism and social-fascism in Korea !

For the overthrow of the bourgeois dictatorship in South Korea and North Korea !


Long live the dictatorship of the united Korean working class !


Free Korea from exploitation by Imperialism and Social imperialism !


Organize the Korean detachment of the world socialist revolution !


Long live the socialist revolution all over Korea !


For a united, independent and socialist Korea in a socialist world !


Create the Korean Section of the Comintern (SH) !