Police stand by as a small group of anti-government protesters stage a rally in front of the Kyobo Bookstore in central Seoul on March 1, 2021. (Photo: Yonhap News)
Some conservative groups went ahead with small street rallies in Seoul on Monday to denounce the Moon Jae-in administration, despite the rainy weather and concerns about the spread of COVID-19.
On the 102nd anniversary of the March 1 Independence Movement against Japan's colonization of Korea, more than 10 members of the Freedom Korea National Defense Corps staged a rally before noon in the Gwanghwmun area.
The group said it held the demonstration to make the point that "the basic right of citizens shouldn't be annihilated on the pretext of disease control and prevention."
The group was forced to limit the number of participants after a local court upheld the Seoul Metropolitan Government's ban on large-scale assemblies in order to prevent COVID transmission.
The far-right Our Republican Party also held separate rallies across the capital, each of which was joined by up to nine people, while a few other groups pushed for press conferences or car rallies.
Thousands of police officers were deployed throughout the city to prevent people from gathering in big crowds and keep the peace.
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