Protesters demand justice for the ‘comfort women’ of World War II on Global Action Day
Protesters took turns sitting with a replica of the “Statue of Peace” — or “Sonyeosang” in Korean — an artwork installed in 2011 outside the Embassy of Japan in Seoul, South Korea, as a monument to the women.
Dozens of protesters rallied Wednesday on the Near North Side to raise awareness about the injustices suffered by “comfort women” at the hands of the Imperial Japanese Army.
Before and during World War II, the Japanese government forced women from Korea, China, the Philippines and other Asian countries occupied by Japan into sexual slavery in brothels that served the nation’s military.
Wednesday’s protest was organized by the nonprofit group KAN-WIN, whose mission includes providing comprehensive services for people experiencing gender-based violence, as part of the 10th annual Global Action Day to raise awareness about the plight of the victims.
“The Japanese military called them comfort women, but this term deceitfully sanitizes and erases the pain and trauma inflicted upon thousands — hundreds of thousands — of women and girls,” said Ji Hye Kim, the organization’s executive director.
Kim called the treatment of the women “one of the most horrific human rights violations in history.”
Protesters rallied in front of the Wrigley Building, 400 N. Michigan Ave., and took turns sitting with a replica of the “Statue of Peace” — or “Sonyeosang” in Korean — an artwork depicting a young woman that was installed in 2011 outside the Embassy of Japan in Seoul, South Korea, as a monument to the women.
Protesters later marched on the Magnificent Mile toward the Consulate-General of Japan, at 737 N. Michigan Ave.