The Socialist 11 April 2018 |
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Workers' protests against state repression in China and Hong Kong
Sally Tang of Socialist Action (CWI Hong Kong) protesting against the dictatorship's arrest of pro-democracy activists and legislators, photo Socialist Action (Click to enlarge)
The 'Stop Repression in Hong Kong' campaign, supported by the Committee for a Workers' International (CWI), is planning a day of worldwide protests on Friday 4 May against increasing political repression in Hong Kong and China.
4 May is a historic day in China, the anniversary of the first major student movement in 1919 for democracy, against imperialism, and rejecting a conservative ruling establishment that had betrayed the hopes of the 1911 anti-dynastic revolution. The 'May Fourth' movement was also the beginning of independent political action by China's working class.
Stop Repression in Hong Kong was launched last October with protests in 22 cities around the world. It explicitly targets support from left activists and workers' organisations, explaining that capitalist politicians are too enamoured by economic links with the Chinese regime and conflicted by their own undemocratic policies to offer real support for democratic rights in Hong Kong or China.
The campaign's petition is gaining signatures worldwide. New signatories include writer and social activist Noam Chomsky, human rights activist Peter Dahlin - arrested on trumped up charges and deported from China in 2016 - and Søren Søndergaard, member of parliament and foreign affairs spokesperson for the Red-Green Alliance in the Danish parliament.
MPs in Ireland and Germany have also signed the petition, as have prominent trade unionists in Brazil, Britain and South Africa.
The international protest in May is to oppose election manipulation in Hong Kong, the banning of pro-democracy candidates and parties from contesting elections, disqualification of elected members of Hong Kong's partially elected legislature, and Article 23 - a new draconian security law.
It is also to show solidarity with unexpectedly bold protests inside China, and by overseas Chinese, against Xi Jinping's rule changes, which sees the Chinese regime go from a "one-party" to a "one-man" dictatorship.
Among the so-called Communist Party's National People's Congress 'delegates' who unanimously endorsed Xi were 45 billionaires. The ranks of China's super-rich have more than tripled since Xi took power in 2012 (251 dollar billionaires then, 819 today), while repression against regime critics is now "the worst since the  Tiananmen crackdown" according to Amnesty International.
Donald Trump's response when China's leader Xi Jinping changed the rules, allowing him to rule for life, was to praise Xi and tell a public rally: "Maybe we'll give that a shot someday!"
More information and campaign material - placards and leaflets to organise protest activities on 4 May - can be found on the Stop Repression in Hong Kong website stophkrepression.net