Stop Repression in Hong Kong is an international campaign initiated by socialists and left organisations to protest the worsening crackdown on democratic rights in Hong Kong and China
The Chinese dictatorship is presiding over the most severe crackdown in 25 years. Foreign governments and big companies have shown again and again they don’t care how many Chinese dissidents, bloggers and worker activists are arrested, disappeared, denied their legal rights, or made to make televised “confessions”. All they care about is making profits in China and staying in the good books of the dictatorship.
The Chinese regime still uses the label ‘Communist’ but is actually a regime of billionaires and capitalists. Under Xi Jinping’s rule the number of Chinese billionaires has more than doubled from 251 to 647. At the same time, the poorest 25 percent of Chinese households (around 340 million people) own just one percent of the country’s wealth. These are so-called “low-end people” according to the Chinese authorities, who face eviction from the richest cities, and work in poorly paid jobs with no pensions or social insurance.
Socialists oppose this brutal inequality and the repressive police state which sustains it. In China and globally we stand for a democratic socialist alternative, where the economy is publicly owned and run democratically to provide decent homes, jobs and education for all.
The Chinese dictatorship uses nationalistic propaganda about the ‘China Dream’ – which is only for the super-rich! It hypocritically attacks growing calls for democratic rights as “Westernism”, while at the same time it collaborates with Western multinationals to exploit China’s gigantic labour force in sweatshops. The government’s anti-Westernism is fake, just a populist trick to justify its rule, and to scapegoat those fighting against corruption, bureaucracy and abuse of power as “stooges of anti-China forces”.
Hong Kong: Down with authoritarianism!
China’s rulers are also tightening their stranglehold over Hong Kong. The one time promise of “one country two systems” – a form of local autonomy for Hong Kong’s 7.3 million people – is being smashed. Elected opposition legislators have been kicked out of the legislature for “violating” completely made up rules. 180,000 votes have been cancelled, which is a parliamentary coup organised by the regime.
In 2018, numerous political trials will be held. Dozens and possibly hundreds of democracy activists will face prison sentences and disqualification from standing in elections. The Hong Kong law courts have lost any supposed ‘independent’ role to become nothing more than a political tool of the authoritarian government. New laws like the National Anthem Law threaten three years in prison for those who “disrespect” the anthem.
Hong Kong’s legislature has become even more of a ‘rubber stamp’, with no real power, as a result of rule changes carried through while one-fifth of the opposition lawmakers were undemocratically disqualified (DQ). The decision to put the new multibillion-dollar high-speed rail station terminus under joint control with mainland police (the so-called co-location arrangement) means it is actually a gigantic Chinese police station in the heart of Hong Kong. This is a deliberate plan to weaken Hong Kong’s autonomy and give the mainland police more power to intervene.
The dictatorship fears that Hong Kong’s democracy struggle, and epic mass movements like the Umbrella Revolution in 2014, could spread to China hastening the end of the dictatorship. Its next move will be to pass a national security law which bans political organisations. Socialists and democracy campaigners in Hong Kong could become illegal as they are already in China.
What socialists fight for
In China and Hong Kong the supporters of the CWI are active in support of workers’ struggles, environmental struggles and for democratic rights. Our website is chinaworker.info, which is blocked in China. In Hong Kong, Socialist Action is an active participant in struggles to defend hard won political rights, freedom of speech and association, as well as campaigns against privatisation and outsourcing, against the slave-like exploitation of migrant workers and for women’s full equality.
We are part of the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) with members in more than 40 countries, fighting the global capitalist system which needs brutal dictatorships like China, Saudi Arabia and many others to sustain its economic power and profits. CWI members around the world are active in many important struggles of workers, women, students and migrants. We stand for international solidarity of oppressed peoples against capitalism and all its governments, East and West.
Western politicians like Trump and Theresa May are actually not a bit more ‘democratic’ than China’s leaders. They are only concerned with defending the capitalist system – the greed and super-profits of a small minority at the expense of the vast majority. It is the mass struggle of working class people, women and other oppressed layers in the past, which achieved democratic rights in America, Europe and elsewhere. Mass pressure today is what forces the capitalist politicians to observe certain ‘democratic’ norms while increasingly politicians like Trump show their sympathy for authoritarian rule.
Join the struggle!
Socialists are not asking for special privileges for Hong Kong, but the same basic democratic rights and freedom from repression for China, Hong Kong, and globally. We have helped to organise protests in support of Hong Kong’s democracy struggle in more than 20 countries around the world and plan new actions and meetings in the future. If you want to join our struggle or get more information about international socialism contact chinaworker.info at [email protected]
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chinaworker.info stands for
- Stop Repression in Hong Kong and China!
- Release political prisoners, no more show trials!
- Protest the disqualification of Hong Kong legislators – stop election rigging!
- For independent and democratic trade unions in China – united workers’ struggle against capitalism!
- Down with dictatorship – for full democratic rights and international socialism!