From Tim Shorrock at Common Dreams:
"In 1980 a terrible event occured in Kwangju, a city in southwestern Korea that was the birthplace of Kim Dae Jung, South Korea's former president and its most famous dissident. On May 18, 1980, hundreds of students and democratic activists were shot down and bayonetted to death in the wake of a violent military coup...In response to the savagery of the Korean Special Forces who were responsible for the bloodshed that day, the citizens of Kwangju, who were well organized after years of oppression, took up guns and chased the military out of town. For seven days a citizens' committee held the city, negotiating with the military to seek a peaceful end to the crisis. It was the first uprising against military rule in South Korea since the Korean War and is widely seen there as a turning point in Korea's democratic movement."