Gwangju Uprising

Gwangju, South Korea

Date: May 18–27, 1980

GwangjuSouth Korea

Protest marches and civil disobedience, later armed uprising


The Gwangju Uprising (Hangul: 광주 항쟁; Hanja: 光州抗爭), alternatively called May 18 Democratic Uprising by UNESCO,[2] and also known as May 18 Gwangju Democratization Movement[3] (Hangul: 5·18 광주 민주화 운동; Hanja: 五– 八光州民主化運動), was a popular uprising in the city of Gwangju, South Korea, from May 18 to 27, 1980. Estimates suggest up to 606 people may have died.[4] During this period, Gwangju citizens took up arms (by robbing local armories and police stations) when local Chonnam University students – who were demonstrating against the martial law government – were fired upon, killed, and beaten in an unprecedented attack by government troops.[5][6] The uprising eventually ended in defeat on May 27, 1980.