After months of demonstrations and heated debate over the US-Korea trade deal, the Grand National Party called a plenary session and immediately voted on the bill before the opposition legislators could stop them. One lawmaker in particular tried to halt the vote by detonating a tear gas canister (read the details of the vote here). Still, the desperate attempt failed to detain the ruling party from passing the deal 151 to 7. As the New York Times reports,
In the 299-seat National Assembly, 170 members showed up for the vote Tuesday, most of them governing party lawmakers. The opposition members either voted against the bill or abstained.
Watch the video of the scuffle between the ruling party and the opposition:
The vote has prompted massive demonstrations in the street. Our allies in Korea reported that more than five thousand protesters occupied the streets in Seoul. The police aimed water cannons at them and arrested many activists.
Watch the video of the protest here:
Like many Americans who will hold their congressional leaders accountable for their vote on the trade deal, the Korean Alliance against KorUS FTA (KoA) and other opponents of the deal will be launching a campaign against the lawmakers who voted for the agreement in the next general election. The outrage in both countries yet again demonstrates the need to change the current unfair trade model that benefits the 1%.