Mural of Maine’s Workers Becomes Political Target [New York Times] (emphasis the Korean's).Clashes at state capitols over organized labor have become commonplace this year, with protesters throughout the country objecting to proposed limits on collective bargaining and cuts in benefits. Maine’s governor, Paul LePage, has opened a new — and unlikely — front in the battle between some lawmakers and unions: a 36-foot-wide mural in the state’s Department of Labor building in Augusta.
The three-year-old mural has 11 panels showing scenes of Maine workers, including colonial-era shoemaking apprentices, lumberjacks, a “Rosie the Riveter” in a shipyard and a 1986 paper mill strike. Taken together, his administration deems these scenes too one-sided in favor of unions.
A spokeswoman said Mr. LePage, a Republican, ordered the mural removed after several business officials complained about it and after the governor received an anonymous fax saying it was reminiscent of “communist North Korea where they use these murals to brainwash the masses."
Wow, really? For those of you who don't know, one of the favorite tools that the dictators in South Korea used to suppress Korea's labor movement (which was intimately linked to Korea's democratization movement) was to constantly associate labor unions with North Korea and communism. Many labor activists of South Korea -- which includes a member of the Korean's extended family -- went to jail for the trumped up charges of espionage and aiding North Korea.
The world sure is an ironic place.
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