It has been 23 years since Martyr, Yang Yong Chan (1965 to 1991) who self-immolated for the opposition of the special law on the development of the Jeju island on Nov. 7, 1991. He was 25 years old at the time. He left his testimony that ‘he wanted the Jeju Island as a nest for life rather than the 2nd Hawaii’ and self-immolated in fire, shouting, “Deter the Special law” and “Smash the Minjadang(The Dominating right wing party at the time)”
Through his death, the establishment of the Special Law on the Development of the Jeju Island was not stopped but many Jeju people was inspired and awakened to act for their homeland bravely. While Gangjeong Naval Base is a symbol for Jeju to walk the capitalism and militarism way of Hawaii, Martyr, Yang Yong Chan may deter Jeju Naval Base project and the military housing project in Gangjeong for sure if he were here.
For many years, we have continued to have memorial action for Martyr, Yang Yong Chan in Gangjeong village, and there’s no exception in this year. People made pickets and do the 3 steps one bow from Gangjeong Peace Center to the naval base construction site following Mr. Oh Cheol-Geun’s daily peace action, and during the Catholic Mass, people held the pickets doing the one-person protesting surrounding the base. During the human chain, Mr. Yang, YoonMo read the testimony of Mr. Yang Yong Chan in remembrance of Martyr Yang Yong Chan and in protesting of military base and housing in Gangjeong, Jeju.
By recognizing this kind of Martyr like Yang Yong Chan’s pure love and struggle for Jeju has left a huge love for not only people in Jeju but also Okinawa,Taiwan etc to go on the struggle of making the island of peace with nature and human. Thus, some also holds the pickets written that “We remember Yang Yong Chan who love Jeju with true heart not even in Jeju but also in Okinawa and Taiwan.”
Today, in Jeju city, there’s also a event in remembrance of Yang Yong Chan. Several Gangjeong people went to participate.