The Words of the Park Family
The following account of CARP's response to an antinuclear war demonstration last fall in Germany, excerpted from the February 1982 CARP Monthly, is one example of why Rev. Chong Goo Park has become known as "Tiger Park."
On September 1, 1981, when I was in Germany, Father ' told me very seriously to build a foundation for VOC in Germany, a divided country, because it could give an example of God's ideal for the world. I raised my head and looked at his face. His face showed a certain dignity which had been gained through much fighting in his life, as well as by a determination to accomplish God's will and manifest His righteousness.
"Yes, I'll try, Father," I answered firmly.
"There is one other thing you should remember. Terrorists murder the leaders of VOC, so you must be careful for your life."
"I understand, Father. Thank you so much for thinking about me."
"Yes, you really must be careful. You must be prepared."
"Father, please don't worry about that. I have already conquered the fear of death. Man can die only once, not twice. I will never be a coward."
"Great! That's why I love you so much, Chong Goo."
"Thank you, Father." In my heart there arose a strong determination for this new mission, and I was deeply touched by his heart.
A large demonstration against nuclear armaments, funded and organized by the communists, was being planned in Bonn. On October 9, 130 members gathered, and I gave the details for our counter-demonstration the next day. At 6:00 a.m. the next morning, I took a bath and changed all my clothes. We never know what our fate may be from one hour to the next. On this day, we were going to come up against 250,000 demonstrators. I didn't know what was going to happen to me, so I knelt down and prayed:
"God, we know what righteousness is and what truth is. These past 100 years communism has disgraced the lives and dignity of people, and how many have died fighting for this false idea! Now this great human tragedy must end, and in its place a truth should be realized to bring God's world of love on this earth. We will shout and show Your righteousness to them. I don't care about my life today, Father, but please protect and guide my beloved brothers and sisters."
In the middle of this mass of people, our demonstration leader Dieter Schmidt picked up the microphone and began to shout, "Don't destroy the real peace with a false one! Stop this false peace demonstration!" Members raised up the posters they had been hiding and began to shout slogans. We were 130 brothers and sisters, compared to 280,000 of them, but the people were surprised and listened to us. Even the speaker couldn't continue. We shouted again and again, throwing pamphlets with all our strength.
The communists began to attack our members, tearing the signs and stepping on them. They grabbed our members and threw them on the ground. I realized that this was the time when I was needed. I flew into the small open space and grabbed the attackers. I ran here and jumped there, stopping the fighting, being beaten, but hitting back. Our members got very inspired. They knew their leader would protect them, and they felt relieved. They shouted again and again.
After a while, I thought we should escape to a safe place before the entertainment finished, because there were no police at the demonstration. We had already gotten much response from the media and I felt we had accomplished our basic purpose there. The security guards opened a way for us to leave, but I had forgotten about the large quantity of people gathered around. The streets of Bonn were filled with demonstrators. I was hoping our members had hid their signs and slipped away, but they were excited, so they marched with their pickets, shouting loudly.
When we got to the main road, about 2,000 people came at us, as if they had been waiting for us. Making a thick wall around us, they began throwing apples, eggs, cans and beer bottles at us. How could I control this situation and protect our members? I shouted, "Go to the side street!" We escaped into an alley, where only about 500 people could follow us, because it was so small Our attackers began swinging sticks, pipes and chains at our members. Our numbers were far fewer than theirs, and also we were not used to violence.
I decided to throw my life on the line. I fought to the right and left. Because I was so wild they backed down a bit. Four of our members were lying on the ground, bleeding. I called to the sisters to take the wounded away.
Now there was an open space of about three meters. I shouted, "Who is the leader? Come out!" Then a real big guy, who reminded me of a professional wrestler, appeared. "Are you the leader?" I asked.
"So, do you really want to fight with us today? If you want, we can fight to the end. But today is not the time. You are having a peace demonstration today, aren't you? If there are deaths or wounded people, what is your demonstration for? I am the leader of this organization. If you want to meet us on a certain, campus and fight with us, we will do it anytime you want. But let's avoid fighting today. Will you accept my suggestion?"
He called several men around him and had a discussion. Then he asked me, "What's the name of your organization?"
"CARP. It's a student group."
Then he confirmed the name and blew a whistle. At its sound, the violence stopped immediately. We had escaped from the jaws of death!
We gathered at the center in Bonn; four members were hurt, but not too badly. Two hours remained before suppertime, so we played soccer.
Just an hour earlier, we were in a life-and-death situation, but now tomorrow awaits us. We are young. We are still strong. And if there is any way in which we can burn our enthusiasm, it is in sports. Everyone could feel a strong unyielding determination to fulfill God's will and we were infused with the strength and heat of youth. After dinner we danced a victory dance to the rock and roll music of "Blue Tuna" (which is our pride). We danced hand in hand to the glory of God.