July 3, 1987 – A Day Crammed With Dissent – Panama, Haiti, South Korea.
July 3, 1987 – thirty years ago today. Dissidence all over the world, it seemed. From Panama, riots and demonstrations both for and against Panamanian strongman/ruler Manuel Noriega were continuing with not much let-up in sight. Although it had been three days since the Panama government lifted its siege, it was clear the authorities set strict limits on freedom there. The day before, students at the National University built blockades and threw rocks at riot police who ripped down their protest signs and fired buckshot into the University grounds. In downtown Panama City, an exclusive shop was burned down by rioters. The shop was owned by a prominent anti-government leader, and his son blamed government sympathizers for setting the blaze. And despite the lifting of press censorship, while street fights shifted through the city, the government shut down the only remaining opposition radio station. This was the second round of strong anti-government protests to take place in a month, but some observers believed the protests were gaining strength.
Haiti was getting its fair share of unrest, with protests flooding the streets of Port-au-Prince to demand truly independent supervision of the country’s first national elections since the downfall of Baby Doc Duvalier. At least a dozen people had been killed in protest violence and there were two general strikes. And reports state the military rulers have retreated somewhat.
And from South Korea – having won promises of direct Presidential elections, South Korean dissidents were making new demands. There were mass rallies, but instead of ending with violence, they ended peacefully with chants. The student protestors were demanding a faster release of political prisoners, saying they didn’t believe President Chan Du-Wan’s promise of an election to choose South Korea’s next President. Not a single uniformed riot policeman was visible during the protests. They were around, but were stationed several blocks away. Meanwhile, the South Korean government was busily revising the nation’s constitution, in order to set up the election.
All that, and even parts where it was peaceful, this July 3, 1987 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.