by Byung Hwa Yoo, Seoul, Korea
bust of Jeon Tae-il on the Jeon Taeil-il bridge over Cheonggyecheon
copper plates on the bridge honoring him
motor bikes of merchants parked for minutes because of 'No Parking' and deficient parking area around the big market
Jeon Tae-il was born on 1948 at Daegu city.
He came to Seoul on 1954 with his family.
He left elementary school on the 4th grade for family reasons.
He worked at Dongdaemun, Pyeonghwa markets for living since then.
He realized that the terribly poor working environment was caused by ignoring the labor code for the owner's extreme interest and government's industrial development policy of the former president, Park Jeong-hee.
He insisted that the code should be kept rightly.
His resistance was ignored to unemployment.
He chose to burn himself to death at the age of 22 shouting 'We are not machines, enforce the labor code!' on Nov. 1970 holding the labor code commentary worn by repeated reading.
His death ignited recognition of the laborer's rights.
Film 'A Single Spark' was made on 1995.
Jeon Tae-il Foundation erected bust on the bridge on 2005 and kept asking the bridge's name after him.
Seoul city accepted the request on 2012 adding his name additionally to the original 'Beodeuldari'. It was the first case to name a bridge after a person in Seoul.
After seeing his statue he was on my mind over months. I went there twice to feel his grim death even a little. I might have passed if I had not tried to seek subject to draw. Watching demonstrations on streets these days I recall him thinking how he would feel and say and hope them to remember his death.