Police Push for Ban on Late-Night Gatherings and Demonstrations
New Measures Proposed to Ensure Peace and Public Safety During Late Hours
A plan to prohibit gatherings and demonstrations held during commuting and late-night hours is currently being pushed by the police. Police Commissioner Yoon Hee-geun announced on the 21st that efforts will be made to pass a bill that bans such activities from midnight to 6 a.m. The aim is to maintain peace and security during the late-night period. The proposed legislation, which is currently being considered by the National Assembly, seeks to jointly prohibit assemblies and demonstrations during this timeframe, paving the way for its active promotion.
Additionally, Commissioner Yoon expressed his intent to introduce the term ‘commute time’ in the legal provisions, aiming to restrict gatherings on highways during peak hours. As per Article 12 of the existing Assembly and Exhibition Act, assemblies or demonstrations on major roads in major cities can be prohibited or restricted under certain traffic flow conditions. The objective is to define such restrictions.
To further enhance public safety, Commissioner Yoon emphasized that the police will implement stricter regulations concerning noise generated during gatherings and protests. Presently, noise at demonstrations is measured for 10 minutes and averaged, but the measure is set to be reduced to 5 minutes. Moreover, the maximum permitted noise level will be reduced from 3 cuts to 2 cuts.
The police also announced their intention to make active use of drones to address illegal rallies. While the use of drones raises concerns about potential breaches of personal information, the police stated that they have received authoritative interpretation allowing the deployment of drones if there are discernible illegal elements at the assembly site.
Regarding a recent court decision permitting the Metalworkers’ Union of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions to hold a one-night, two-day homeless rally, Commissioner Yoon explained, “This is because the current regulations do not impose restrictions on late-night gatherings. However, given the numerous public complaints about noise and various disturbances caused by evening gatherings, we are working towards limiting such events.”
On a night last May, union members from the Construction Workers Union of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions were drinking and sleeping on mats on the sidewalk next to Sejong-daero in Jung-gu, Seoul. They sat in groups of about 10 and drank soju from bottled water or lay in sleeping bags. /Reporter Nam Kang-ho
The police are pushing for a plan to ban gatherings and demonstrations held during commuting and late night hours. Police Commissioner Yoon Hee-geun announced on the 21st, “We will push for a bill banning gatherings and demonstrations from midnight to 6 a.m. to ensure peace during the late night hours.” According to the legislative bill that is currently being proposed to the National Assembly, assemblies and demonstrations are jointly prohibited during that period, and this is being actively promoted.
Commissioner Yoon also announced that he intends to include terms such as ‘commute time’ in the legal provisions to limit gatherings on highways held during peak hours. According to Article 12 of the current Assembly and Exhibition Act, if it is deemed that assemblies or demonstrations on major roads in major cities are necessary for traffic flow, they can be prohibited or restricted by setting conditions. The intention is to identify the restrictions.
Commissioner Yoon said, “We will also significantly regulate noise generated during gatherings and protests.” According to the current enforcement order, noise is measured in demonstrations by measuring for 10 minutes and averaging, but the measure is to be shortened to 5 minutes. It was announced that the maximum noise level would be reduced from 3 cuts to 2 cuts.
The police also said they would actively use drones for illegal rallies. Although there may be elements of breaching personal information, they announced plans to implement it, saying, “We have received an authoritative interpretation that drone gathering is possible if there are illegal elements on the assembly site.”
Regarding the court’s decision to allow the Metalworkers’ Union of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions to hold a one-night, two-day homeless rally the previous day, Commissioner Yoon said, “This is because there are no restrictions on late-night gatherings. under the current regulations.” “There have been many complaints from the public about noise and various homeless gatherings during evening gatherings, so we are trying to limit evening gatherings.”
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