Hong Kong: Fight back against creeping ‘martial law’!

New mass leaflet from Socialist Action – which way forward for Hong Kong’s mass struggle?

On Sunday July 21 another huge demonstration has been called by the Civil Human Rights Front as part of the continuing mass struggle to defeat Carrie Lam’s government. Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong) issued the following leaflet for this demonstration.

No to demonstration bans! Fight back against creeping ‘martial law’!

Escalate the mass struggle and spread to China!

Defeat the dictatorship of the CCP (so-called Communist Party) and the rich!

Carrie Lam’s government is more “dead” than her extradition bill. But the CCP will not allow the government to fall because it fears this will be seen as a defeat for Emperor Xi Jinping and can spread the mass struggle into China. To choose a new Chief Executive now would open the floodgates of mass demands for real democracy in Hong Kong against the authoritarian billionaire-dominated system.

So the ground beneath our mass struggle has shifted. It is not only a struggle with the “ghost” of Carrie Lam. It is now mainly a struggle directly against the CCP dictatorship – Vice Premier Han Zheng is reportedly sitting in Shenzhen directing the day-to-day actions of the Hong Kong government and the police, who are now the main tool of CCP policy in Hong Kong.

The police and the pro-Beijing establishment camp are working to provoke “riots” as an excuse for a crackdown. The crazy and dangerous police violence in Sha Tin New Town Plaza Mall (on Sunday July 14 during which over 20 were hospitalised and two are in critical condition) showed the new police “strategy” which is to trap and provoke the youth into battles. This police strategy is so reckless it could lead to deaths!

They want to use this as an excuse to ban protest marches. The government is testing the ground for possible de facto ‘martial law’ in some districts. If this succeeds they would try to extend it to the whole of Hong Kong. Our movement must refuse to accept any bans – if the police refuse permission we march anyway! We defend our freedom of assembly as a sacred right!

To win against this strategy of the CCP/Hong Kong police the mass movement must escalate. There are three parts to this escalation and these are all crucial to success.

  1. We must spread the revolution to China. For united mass struggle of Hong Kong and China people against the CCP dictatorship. China and Hong Kong are both faced with authoritarian rule, police crackdowns, long-standing and increasingly serious inequalities, lack of affordable housing, young people’s dead-end jobs, and tycoon dictatorship. 
  2. We must raise the struggle beyond the immediate “5 demands”* to call for the end of the authoritarian capitalist system in Hong Kong, for real universal suffrage for all over 16 years, replace the rigged Legco with a fully-democratic People’s Assembly, and extend the democratic control over the economy to smash the tycoon’s evil grip on the property sector, the banks and big corporations, which is the cause of poverty, excessive work hours and the housing crisis.
  3. We must seriously organise for a one-day general strike to bring down the government – this means we have to start now building strike committees and union organisations in all workplaces and schools.

Our movement has already shaken Xi’s dictatorship and given the CCP its most serious crisis for thirty years. But of course this means they are preparing seriously to strike back. The mass struggle needs mass organisation – through democratic grassroots committees in every area – to unite all layers, prevent fragmentation, and democratically decide what are the next actions to take.

Spreading the mass struggle to China will be a matter of life or death – if we remain a mass movement in Hong Kong alone then as in 2014 the regime can wait out and defeat the movement. Such an advanced struggle, across borders, involving many sectors, cannot be done without real organisation and democratic structures. Loose networks and “spontaneous” actions are not enough! This is why Socialist Action stands for the creation of a new mass workers’ party and for fighting trade unions, these are the vehicles for an organised struggle that can defeat the dictatorship and the capitalist class whose economic power it protects.

If Hong Kong succeeds in organising a genuine one-day political strike, this will directly exert unprecedented pressure on the Hong Kong government and the CCP. At the same time, it will get massive attention and increase the importance of our struggle in the eyes of the masses in China and globally, so raising the confidence and will to struggle of the Hong Kong and Chinese people.

Socialist Action demands:

  • Not just the five major demands – We want full and immediate democracy in Hong Kong and in China!
  • Organise a one-day general strike in Hong Kong as the next major action of the mass movement; establish strike committees and build strong fighting unions to prevent employers from persecuting and dismissing striking workers.
  • Defeat the CCP dictatorship and the dictatorship of the rich. Kick out the capitalist tycoons!
  • Build a new working class party that links the struggle for real democracy to the miserable living conditions of workers. We are opposed to the current system controlled by the capitalists, who rely on the violent authoritarian government to protect their billions. Therefore, we advocate socialism and full democratic control over the government and the economy!

*The 5 demands of the anti-extradition law movement are for formal withdrawal of the bill, the resignation of Carrie Lam as Chief Executive, withdrawal of “riot” charge against arrested protesters, release all arrested protesters, for an independent public investigation of police violence against unarmed protesters.