The Top-dong Movement was an extensive residents’ resistance mobilization against the Top-dong Public Water Reclamation project in the late 1980s in Jeju, South Korea. Starting as a local female divers’ struggle for subsistence, the Top-dong Movement grew into a collective action to reveal the illegalities of the project, demand that profits should be fairly shared and assert self-determination. State-led development of Jeju in the post-Korean war period functioned to render the island an extractive periphery during South Korea’s capitalist modernization. Within that context, the Top-dong reclamation project exemplifies how urban development projects create colonial conditions in local communities by dispossessing them of land and the means of subsistence, commodifying public resources and extracting profits. Jeju islanders reacted by claiming specific rights: female divers’ collective rights to public water and the means of livelihood against dispossession; local residents’ rights to control developmental profits against extraction; and islanders’ rights to participate in decision-making processes against exclusion. Bridging Lefebvre’s two concepts—colonization and the right to the city, this article argues that the historically situated, place-based right to the city movement revealed the colonization involved in urban development and performed practices of decolonization.