140 Gather at City Hall in Support of Euna Lee and Laura Ling

This was the scene tonight at the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall, where a crowd of 140 offered their support for Euna Lee and Laura Ling. The people at the vigil called on North Korea to release these jailed reporters.

“We miss you” “Liberate Laura & Euna Now” “Set them free”


Supervisor Erica Mar was on the scene along with many City Hall staffers. Read an account from Marisa Lagos here and Jared Grigsby here.


Details after the jump.

WHAT: The San Francisco Vigil

WHEN: Wednesday, June 3, 2009

TIME: 6 p.m.

WHERE: Front Steps of S.F. City Hall on Polk Street




Volunteers will be handing out bright yellow carnations, ribbons, and candles on the steps of San Francisco City Hall during a vigil for two journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, being tried in North Korea on June 4.


The two journalists work for San Francisco-based Current TV, a media venture founded by former Vice President Al Gore. They were arrested on March 17, 2009 near the North Korean border while reporting on refugees living in China. Both women have been accused by North Korea of crossing into the country illegally and committing “hostile acts,” and will be tried on criminal charges.


In addition to members of both journalists’ families, Laura Ling’s sister Lisa appeared on NBC’s Today Show on June 1. Lisa Ling is a well-known TV journalist.


The San Francisco vigil is among several being held nationwide on that day. Other vigils will be held in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Portland, Birmingham, and Washington, D.C.


Speakers at the San Francisco vigil will include Supervisor Eric Mar and two award-winning journalists, L.A. Chung and Mike Cerre, and friends of the two families.

Statement from the Families of Laura Ling and Euna Lee:

We, the families of Laura Ling and Euna Lee – the two American journalists currently detained in North Korea – are gravely concerned about their well-being.   It has been nearly three months since their arrest.   We have been holding our breath everyday as we’ve watched the political situation on the Korean Peninsula grow increasingly tense.  Our loved ones sit in the midst of it.  We desperately urge the governments of the United States and North Korea to keep our issue separate from the larger geopolitical stand-off.  We hope that our two countries can come together to secure the expeditious release of Laura and Euna on humanitarian grounds. 

Euna Lee is the mother of a four-year old daughter.  And Laura was being treated for an ulcer prior to her departure, and in our limited communication with her we fear it has become more serious since her detainment and requires immediate medical attention.

Furthermore, Laura and Euna are journalists who were simply doing their job.  They have been charged with “illegal entry,” and “hostility to the Korean nation.”  We aren’t certain of the details of what happened on March 17, but we can say with absolute certainty that when the girls left U.S. soil, they never intended to set foot onto North Korean territory.  If at any point a transgression occurred, we sincerely apologize on their behalf. 

We desperately hope that at the conclusion of the June 4 trial, the government of North Korea will show clemency and allow the girls to return home to their families.

Our families have been comforted by the unexpected and overwhelming support for Laura and Euna.  We would like to thank all of those individuals who are organizing to secure the release of the girls.  We are humbled and deeply touched by your well-wishes and efforts.


            -The families of Laura Ling and Euna Lee

# # #

For press information and interviews, please contact:

Alanna Zahn : 917 699 6425 : alanna@theazuregroup.com 

All vigils will take place on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009. For local vigil information, please contact the local representative listed below. 

For up to date information: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=60755553149 

National Vigil Organizer : Brendan Creamer : 215 699 4338 : blove73@msn.com

      Until Thursday, Brendan can also be reached in Canada at 215 803 7828  

WHAT:  Birmingham Candlelight Vigil

TIME:  7:00 – 10:00 PM

WHERE:  Brother Bryan Park

      Magnolia Ave. between 21st and 22nd St. South

      Birmingham, AL

Contact:  Lisa Anderson : 205 910 2643 : llanderson01@aol.com 

WHAT:  Chicago Candlelight Vigil

TIME:  7:30 – 8:30 PM

WHERE: Chinatown Square Plaza

      Archer Avenue

      Chicago, IL

Contact:  Rose Tibayan : 312 402 4616 : rose.tibayan@yahoo.com 

WHAT:  Los Angeles Vigil

TIME:  6:30 – 9:00 PM

WHERE: Wokcano 
 1413 5th Street (two blocks East of 3
rd Street Promenade) 
 Santa Monica, CA  

Contact:  Dina Morishita : 916 202 4840 : dinalynne@gmail.com  

WHAT:  New York City Vigil

TIME:  6:00 – 8:00 PM

WHERE:  Washington Square Park, at the fountain, Greenwich Village

      Between West 4th St., Washington Square Park East and West and Washington Pl.

      New York City, NY

Contact:  Danielle Chang : 917 539 3105 : changdanielle@yahoo.com 

WHAT:  Portland Vigil

TIME:  6:30 – 8:30 PM

WHERE:  South Park Blocks

      SW. Main St. and SW. Park St.

      Portland, OR

Contact:  Meghan Miller Jedrzejczyk : 503 880 8860 : meghan1414@gmail.com 

WHAT:  Sacramento Candlelight Vigil and March

TIME:  6:30 – 8:00 PM

WHERE:  Start at L Wine Lounge and Urban Kitchen

      1801 L Street

      End at Steps of the State Capitol Building

      Sacramento, CA

Contact:  Beth Diebels : 916 390 3923 : beth.diebels@gmail.com 

WHAT:  San Francisco Candlelight Vigil

TIME:  6:00 – 8:00 PM

WHERE: Front Steps of San Francisco City Hall 
 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place 
 San Francisco, CA 94102

Contact: Lynn Perkins : 510 604 5878 : loperkins@gmail.com 

WHAT:  Washington, DC Vigil

TIME:  6:00 – 8:00 PM

WHERE: Freedom Plaza (parking is very limited –TAKE METRO)

      14th St., NW and Pennsylvania Ave., NW–Federal Triangle METRO

      Washington, DC

Contact: Asia Liu : 202 277 3579 : LiberateLauraDC@gmail.com

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One Response to “140 Gather at City Hall in Support of Euna Lee and Laura Ling”

  1. Academy of Art University says:

    Euna Lee is a 2001 graduate of the Academy of Art University. We have compiled an online petition to call for the immediate release of Euna Lee and Laura Ling. Please join us by adding your name: http://www.academyart.edu/petition