NoCut News has a puff piece about Anti-English Spectrum published on November 10 and written by CBS Busan reporter Kim Hye-gyeong, which has a really cute title:
Delinquent foreign instructors, "Freeze!"Citizens for Upstanding English Education... 100 foreigners caught for drugs, assault, being unqualifiedLast May in Busan, K (30) a Canadian who taught English at a hagwon who had lots of marijuana and other drug paraphernalia at his home and habitually took drugs was arrested by police. Mr. K was stoned while teaching his lessons, and had a record of violence in Canada where he was stripped of his teaching qualifications.Last August in Seoul, G (29), an American who made money from gambling, was among 15 people arrested by police for gambling for years. Among the arrested was someone who habitually did drugs and another who taught at a well-known hagwon on a tourist visa.It is foreign teachers like these who cause problems like drugs, gambling, violence, and being unqualified that the well known internet cafe ‘Citizens for Upstanding English Education’ relentlessly pursue to bring their crimes to light.3 years ago, the crimes of unqualified foreign teachers shocked these citizens who spontaneously formed this group, and to this point they have tracked and exposed 100 foreigners who have done drugs, committed assault, or entered the country without a visa, which, after the related authorities have been notified, has resulted in their deportation.If members discover problem foreign instructors, they use their cafe pseudonym to leave a tip for the manager or send him a note, who then tracks the teachers with others for two to three months on average. The cafe’s method involves relentlessly pursuing them and finally when evidence is secured and the location of the crimes confirmed the police are called.The people who provide tips come from all walks of life and include parents of children who attend English hagwons, Korean English instructors (co-workers), and employees at bars and restaurants frequented by foreigners.Cafe manager Lee Eun-ung (39) says "When people suffer abuses such as violence from foreigners, if they directly contact the police, then their identities become exposed and they have to be subjected to investigation, and therefore because of that sense of burden, our members receive counseling through our cafe and they also report such abuse cases (of being victimized)." "Recently, innocent/good foreigners, who are also being harmed because of some other troublesome foreigners, are submitting reports to our cafe immediately whenever they see a troublesome foreigner, as a part of their efforts for self-purification."The cafe played a large part in the arrest on November 6 of many people who took new drugs with the street names 'skunk' and 'Spice', at clubs in Itaewon and Hongdae.Members discovered foreign sites openly circulating new drugs last February, and persistently asked related agencies to have them designated as illegal drugs with success.The cafe mainly monitors those problem foreign instructors in the capital area of Seoul and Gyeonggi-do but is expanding its area of operations.In places where foreign language classes have a lot of demand teachers are treated in a similar manner as in Seoul but citizens’ observation activities and police crackdowns are not as strong against the activities of unqualified foreign teachers that are surfacing in Busan and Gyeongsangnam-do.In fact, the foreign teacher community in Busan and Gyeongsangnam-do can work relatively freely without work visas at well-known hagwons and can stay in Korea for long periods on tourist visas.Though until last year the cafe had almost no tips about cases of inferior foreign teachers in Busan and Gyeongsangnam-do, this year the total number of tips jumped 20-30% and five foreigners were expelled because of tips the cafe received.In Busan both the Office of Education and the police’s sustained crackdown and the citizens' fervent monitoring activities are pointing out inferior English instructors’ teaching activities, activities outside classes, private lessons, drug-taking and gambling.
Note: It's nice to see a little more information about their stalking activities, though it's troubling (if unsurprising) to see Kim Hye-gyeong and CBS cheering them on. As for Lee's comments about foreigners contacting him as part of their 'self-purification' (similar perhaps to the 'self-criticism' sessions north of the DMZ?), I have to wonder how many foreign teachers would approach a group like AES, which isn't known (in English) as anything other than a xenophobic group of vigilantes, if they're known at all. His comments in other articles about English teachers contacting him for help sound equally as 'truthy'.
Quite interesting is Lee's comment attempting to legitimize their vigilante function by proposing himself and his posse as a solution to the pressures felt by those who would go to the police. Why bother with the police when it comes to foreign English teachers (whose undisclosed crimes in Busan are rising, don't you know) when a bunch of vigilantes can simply assume their powers instead?