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From: The Socialist issue 978, 17 January 2018: Cuts cause NHS crisis

Search site for keywords: Hong Kong - China - Democracy - Democratic rights

Stop repression in Hong Kong and China

Defending refugees in Hong Kong Socialist Action (CWI China, Hong Kong, Taiwan), photo Socialist Action (CWI China, Hong Kong, Taiwan)

Defending refugees in Hong Kong Socialist Action (CWI China, Hong Kong, Taiwan), photo Socialist Action (CWI China, Hong Kong, Taiwan)   (Click to enlarge)

Theo Sharieff

On 1 January 2018, 10,000 people marched through the streets of Hong Kong against the increasingly authoritarian rule of the regime.

In August 2017, 16 young activists who were prominent figures in the 2014 pro-democracy 'Umbrella Movement' were arrested and sentenced to jail by the Hong Kong courts, which themselves have been politically manipulated by the government.

The attacks have gone hand-in-hand with the ousting of six elected opposition legislators from Hong Kong's parliament.

But the Hong Kong regime is not acting alone. Fearing the threat of an overspill of the pro-democracy movement into the mainland, the Chinese dictatorship is increasing its pressure to the Hong Kong government to press on with the repression of the movement.

Even more seriously, the ground is increasingly being prepared for the introduction of new national security legislation, known in Hong Kong as 'Article 23', which would make it a criminal offence to oppose the Chinese dictatorship and threaten to outlaw Socialist Action (the Socialist Party's sister party) in Hong Kong.

The legislation, which Beijing originally tried to introduce in 2003, was scrapped in the face of mass opposition, the apex of which was the 1 July 2003 demonstration which saw an estimated 500,000 people march through the streets of Hong Kong.

In the current situation however, with the democracy movement seemingly pushed back, the Chinese regime is emboldened, and is seeking revenge for its defeat in 2003.

Despite these outrageous attacks, across the globe, 'pro-democracy' capitalist governments turn a blind eye to the trampling over Hong Kong's hard won democratic rights.

Here in Britain, the Tories seem more concerned with keeping on the Chinese dictatorship's good side to court even more Chinese trade and financial deals.

Campaign

In 2018, these political trials will only continue, and dozens, possibly hundreds, of democracy activists will face jail.

'Stop Repression in Hong Kong and China' is an international campaign initiated by socialist and left organisations, including Socialist Action, to defeat this crackdown on democratic rights.

It has launched an online petition and open letter, calling for the release of the 16 jailed pro-democracy activists and the reinstatement of the six disqualified opposition legislators.

There is no hope of any 'pro-democracy' Western government speaking up on behalf of the workers and youth in Hong Kong.

Only by mobilising mass support internationally from the labour movement, trade unions and the working class can these attacks be exposed before worldwide opinion.

Sign the petition, take it to your union local union branch and build the campaign of international solidarity to push back the repressive measures of the Chinese and Hong Kong regimes.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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Article dated 17 January 2018

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