Disabled advocacy group resumes daily rush-hour subway protests

SEOUL-- A disabled advocacy group caused delays in train operations in Seoul on Thursday morning as it resumed daily rush-hour subway riding protests, slamming policy suggestions by President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol's transition team for people with disabilities.

Members of Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination (SADD) staged demonstrations at Gyeongbokgung Station on Line 3 and City Hall Station on Line 2 in central Seoul from 7 a.m., getting off their wheelchairs and crawling on train floors.

Some subway users expressed frustration, asking the protesters to stop.

Operations were normalized at around 8:50 a.m. on Line 3 and 9:28 a.m. on Line 2, according to Seoul Metro.

The move came 22 days after SADD halted the subway protests they began late last year and turned to a daily head-shaving protest campaign following the presidential transition committee's promise to review the group's demands, according to its officials.

SADD has been demanding measures to improve mobility rights and secure budgetary funds for disability rights in the 2023 fiscal plan.

On Tuesday, the transition team said it will review changing city buses to non-step ones, expanding ride-hailing services for disabled people and installing at least one elevator per subway station as part of its policy on disabilities.

"The transition team is just saying the same thing two major political parties have been repeating for the past 20 years when they were in power," Park Kyoung-seok, co-head of SADD, said, adding it did not receive an official response.

SADD called upon Rep. Choo Kyoung-ho, who was tapped as finance minister nominee, to give an official answer to its demands at his confirmation hearing on May 2, saying the group will stop the daily protests if Choo promises to do so.

Source: Yonhap News Agency