Laid-off factory workers facing a lawsuit from the Taiwanese government over “unpaid debt” protested February 5, 2013 [zh] by lying across the tracks at a Taipei train station, bring traffic to a standstill.
The group of workers, who lost their jobs 16 years ago when many factories fled Taiwan for China and other countries to cut labor costs, received money at the time from the government body in charge of protecting labour rights meant to help them get back on their feet. But last year, that government body, called the Council of Labour Affairs, decided to sue the victims, demanding that they return the so-called “loan”.
Not so many people are sympathetic to the plight of these desperate workers. So, inspired by the latest protest, Taiwanese writer-animator ‘BoTh Ali Alone’ [zh] created an illustration to show his support for these victims of de-industrialization.
BoTh Ali Alone's illustration is accompanied by a poem titled “Lying on the Railway”, which he wrote to describe a demoralized world in which people view other people's misery without any sympathy:
The goal of their life is moving ahead along the railway.
They have the tickets for the train,
but they have never seen the world outside.
All the windows are covered by the monitors
that show all the beautiful scenery.
If you get off the train, there is no way to go back.
You will find that
the government keeps building railways,
so the train can go everywhere,
but there is no place on the island worth going anymore,
because there is nothing other than the railways.
— with 需要被支持的人.
they try to survive between the railways.
When they are crushed by the train,
those on the train only complain about the jolt.
–with those who need to be supported.