As repression increases further in Hong Kong and China under Xi Jinping’s iron rule, protesters in 14 countries and 36 cities staged protests to demand the release of 47 pro-democracy activists on trial in Hong Kong for subversion.The protests were organized by Solidarity Against Repression in China and Hong Kong (SARCHK). On May 31 was the second hearing in the case and prosecutors applied for the case to be transferred to the High Court, which is a clear sign the state wants life sentences meted out, at least for those they regard as most “dangerous” among the 47. For background on the trial of the 47 read here.
At the same time, the Hong Kong authorities under orders from the Chinese dictatorship have banned this year’s June 4 Tiananmen vigil. This is the anniversary of the 1989 massacre of students and workers in Beijing in which upwards of 1,000 people may have been killed (the death toll is still a ‘state secret’ in China). Hong Kong has for three decades been the only Chinese city where it was allowed to commemorate the massacre every year and 180,000 attended the last vigil in 2019. Hong Kong police have now warned that joining the candlelight vigil on Friday evening is punishable by five years in prison and merely publicising the event — for example on a social media account — is punishable by one year in prison. Media reports in Hong Kong say police are threatening to arrest anyone wearing black or holding a candle on Friday, warning these would now constitute illegal acts.
The 47 includes democracy activists, trade unionists and former legislative counselors, among them the veteran left winger and democracy activist ‘Long Hair’ Leung Kwok-hung.
Together with International Socialist Alternative, supporters of the SARCHK campaign protested in 36 cities in 14 countries/regions for the release of the 47 and against the national security law and the CCP dictatorship. In Ireland’s parliament, the Dail, the Socialist Party’s TD Mick Barry raised the case of ‘Long Hair’ and the 47 in a question to the Prime Minister demanding to know what the Irsh government would do about it. Mick was joined by other left TDs in a protest outside the Dail shown in this video. In Manchester, UK, a family from Hong Kong even took a two-hour train journey from Derby to join the protest.
A lot of activists came with self-made placards and we received many solidarity pictures from people who could not attend a collective protest, including one from a sympathizer in Myanmar. In Russia, a solidarity action for the HK47 was organised in Moscow despite the risks to the safety of the participants under another hardline authoritarian regime.
In Stockholm, the activists of Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna handed over a letter to the subway and railway company MTR, which is owned and controlled by the Chinese state. MTR does not only create quite a large profit through owning malls and its real-estate adventures, it also showed to be very loyal to the CCP regime. During the 2019 democracy movement it deliberately stopped the Hong Kong subway infrastructure repeatedly, preventing pro-democracy protesters from coming home safely after the protests and leaving them vulnerable to police violence.
Activists in Canada and Northern Ireland fixed campaign posters to HSBC ATMs and bank offices, highlighting the cooperation of the Anglo-Hong Kong mega bank with the Chinese dictatorship’s crackdown against democratic rights in Hong Kong (HSBC bosses are complicit in the introduction of the national security law — HSBC’s Asia-Pacific chief executive Peter Wong Tung-shun is a member of the dictatorship’s CPPCC and campaigned for the law).
Read more about HSBC, the bank that supports the dictatorship: https://chinaworker.info/en/2021/05/25/29662/?fbclid=IwAR2P6SzgeeZAUbPmqxQUXbcCxmjBnie_EcRVbPtvig-koodgRi5Ckhg_p90
Protests in 35 cities in 14 Countries/Regions (counting England, Northern Ireland and Ireland separately):
- Austria (Vienna)
- Brazil (Sao Paulo)
- Belgium (Brussels)
- Canada (Edmonton, Richmond, Surrey, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria)
- Czech Republic (Prague)
- England (Coventry, Huddersfield, Manchester, Liverpool, London)
- Germany (Berlin)
- Greece (Athens, Volos)
- Ireland (Cork, Dublin)
- Mexico (Mexico City, Tijuana)
- Northern Ireland (Belfast, Fermanagh & Omagh)
- Russia (Moscow)
- Sweden (Luleå, Stockholm)
- US (Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Northwest Arkansas, Oakland, Philadelphia, Seattle)
Why is this Campaign Necessary?
Democratic rights have never been bestowed by a ruling group or regime, and never by a foreign government or “international community”. This is because real democratic rights and the mass struggle needed to achieve them pose a serious threat to the capitalist system in which a tiny minority hold all the real power. This is why we are building active grassroots solidarity with the anti-authoritarian struggle in China and Hong Kong, and firmly oppose siding with or supporting any capitalist government.
The workers’ movement, social movements of women, youth and oppressed minorities, these are the only forces that can defeat repressive regimes. When they join forces in Hong Kong and mainland China and move decisively against the CCP regime, they can bring the whole state capitalist dictatorship to a halt. We need a revolutionary movement in Hong Kong and mainland China to overthrow the CCP dictatorship.
We call for working class solidarity!
To support our campaign, discuss action and get information about our activities in your area follow our campaign pages on Facebook (Solidarity Against Repression in China & Hong Kong), Instagram (solidarity.china.hongkong) and Twitter (@SolidarityHKCN) or contact us via [email protected].