Socialist Party
| Print

14 August 2019

Pro-democracy protests continue to rage in Hong Kong

Theo Sharieff, Socialist Party youth organiser

The issue which sparked the protests over two months ago, the notorious extradition bill, was suspended weeks ago by the city's chief executive Carrie Lam.

Despite this, protesters continue to fight on, wanting the complete withdrawal of the bill and fearing further clampdowns on democracy as the Chinese state seeks to extend its control and influence over Hong Kong. The Hong Kong puppet government is under pressure from the Chinese regime to end the movement, taking a consistently hard-line approach to the protests.

The stakes were upped by authorities when protesters arrested after last weekend's demonstrations, originally charged with unlawful assembly, were charged with the much more serious offence of rioting - a charge that can carry a maximum ten-year prison sentence.

General strike?

In response, the movement has also upped its own stakes, with the call for a 'general strike' being made by Hong Kong's main trade union federation, the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) on 5 August.

The 5 August protests were estimated to be the biggest since the movement began, with an estimated 300,000 or more workers in various sectors, including aviation, the civil service and teachers not attending work on the day.

But the limited extent of the strike action was demonstrated when it was protesters who temporarily shut down the train links, blocking the doors from closing either with their bodies or with umbrellas.

In other areas of the city, protesters established roadblocks to stop the flow of traffic.

The movement, which has mobilised an estimated quarter of the population on some protests, is diffuse, with different ideas on how to take the movement forward. When the LegCo (Hong Kong 'parliament') was stormed last month, some protesters draped it with Union Flags, demonstrating nostalgia among a section for a return to British colonial rule.

Programme and party

This and the limited nature of the strikes highlight the need for putting forward an independent working-class programme to clarify the ideas necessary for winning genuine democratic rights.

The formation of action committees in workplaces with no trade union presence would be a welcome first step to building for further, better organised, coordinated strike action between different sectors and workplaces.

But limited one-day protest strikes will not be enough to force the Hong Kong government into reversing all of the anti-democratic reforms enacted over previous years.

Hong Kong's super rich ruling elite rely on Hong Kong's relationship with China for their mega-profits.

That's why the struggle for democratic rights in Hong Kong is inseparable from the need to overthrow capitalism and linked to that, to build a united struggle with the powerful mainland Chinese working class to overthrow the Chinese regime.

Despite the existence of different ideas in the movement, crucial to taking it forward would be a socialist programme, linked to the construction of a new workers' party in Hong Kong capable of giving the working class a political lead.

Workers and young people in Hong Kong have been brutally attacked by capitalist austerity measures in recent years, while inequality in Hong Kong has reached its highest level since records began 45 years ago. This is the economic and social background to the current political crisis.

A clear and bold socialist programme, linking the struggle for democratic rights to other working class demands - such as well-paid jobs, public services, housing, etc, for all workers and young people - could elevate the struggle.

It could pull more workers into the movement to build for a general strike to shut down Hong Kong society altogether and as a step to overturning the ruling elite.

Such a movement could abolish capitalism and lay the foundations of the socialist transformation of society.




http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/29443




Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

triangle26 Feb All out to win strike reballot

triangle26 Feb Packed meeting of workplace militants, strikers, socialists and trade...

triangle26 Feb University workers' strike over pay, pensions and workload escalates

triangle26 Feb This is the BBC: fight the cuts - and the capitalist media

triangle26 Feb Austerity kills

triangle26 Feb Immigration: For a system that meets the needs of the majority, not a...

The cover of Socialism Today issue 236

triangle21 Feb Preparing for the post-Corbyn era

More ...

WHAT'S ON

triangle27 Feb East London Socialist Party: Is the time right for a new Scottish workers' party?

triangle27 Feb Bristol South Socialist Party: What is the role of social media?

triangle27 Feb Caerphilly Socialist Party: Cuts and climate change cause floods

triangle27 Feb Cardiff East Socialist Party: The monarchy - not just a harmless relic

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

What we Stand For

About the Socialist Party

Joining the Socialist Party - what will it mean for you

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999