Chinese workers and students fight for democracy

Workers and students are fighting for genuine free elections, against the undemocratic attempts by the state-capitalist; People’s Republic of China to fully control the Special Administration Region of Hong Kong. The Beijing dictatorship is trying to control who is getting elected, this is why workers and students stand up. Since 1997, Hong-Kong is part of China and in a deal with Great Britain, it was agreed that the ”socialist” system was not introduced in Hong-Kong for 50 years. This so called ”socialist” system meant total control of Beijing over Hong-Kong. Free elections were promised, however the supporters of Beijing have been able to introduce many bureaucratic laws to limit free speech. Now they plan on controlling who is getting elected and who is not allowed to complete. Activists and revolutionary socialists refuse to allow this, we stand with the people against the ruling class of Hong-Kong and the Beijing dictatorship!

Hong-Kong was the only place in China, that allowed its workers and students to demonstrate against the 1989 crackdown on Tiananmen Square. Britain was still the colonial rulers of Hong-Kong back then and abused the crackdown to spread anticommunist propaganda. Hong Kong has no legislation for political parties, and thus has no legal definition for what a political party is. Most political parties and political groups registered either as limited companies or societies. In Hong Kong there are two main political ideology campaigns, which presents to pan-democracy camp and Pro-Beijing camp. The Beijing camp is led by supporters of capitalism and political conservative groups such as the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong, the pseudo ”Liberal” Party and the Economic Synergy. Beijing is also supported by many pseudo-trade unions, who are under their control. The state controlled Hong-Kong Federation of Trade Unions is supportive of the Chinese government, because their ideology is Chinese nationalism!

The pan-democracy camp is led by activists, social liberals, social democrats and revolutionary socialists. For years the lead bourgeois-democratic party was the Democratic Party. But in 2010, the DP made some deals with the pro-Beijing led government of Hong-Kong. This caused massive anger inside the pan-democracy camp. Activists said the DP betrayed the people and called for demonstrations against the party leadership. A new pan-democratic party that was able to grow is the Labour Party. Founded by the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, the Labour Party aims to reform the capitalist system in a social democratic way. They profited from the betrayal of the Democratic Party and got four seats in the Legislative Council of Hong Kong!

Revolutionary socialists are united in Socialist Action. Their members are active in many campaigns against state repression and to defend the rights of political dissidents including several of their own members who have been persecuted by the Chinese state. For example Zhang Shujie from Chongqing, a regular contributor to their underground magazine ‘Socialist’. Zhang Shujie was arrested by the secret police in 2011. They believed that Socialist Action was part of the League of Social Democrats ( LSD ), a radical social democratic party in Hong-Kong. Also the secret police were living under the assumption that the LSD was part of the Committee for a Workers International ( CWI ). In reality, the CWI and LSD are different organisations with both different ideologies. The League of Social Democrats promotes classic social democracy. Their economic model is that of more government regulations and less markets. Socialist Action and the CWI support a democratic planned economy in which all means of production are under control of workers councils ( soviets ).

Zhang Shujie was forced to travel to Hong-Kong to spy for the secret police. However with the help of Joe Higgins ( Irish revolutionary socialist ) and the CWI, he fled China and got political asylum in Sweden. His story proofs that the Chinese government is attacking anybody who is standing up to them. Not only liberals and pro-capitalist democrats are getting arrested. Revolutionary socialists and even supporters of Mao Zedong are now jailed for criticising the state-capitalist Chinese ”Communist” Party. The magazine ”Socialist” is banned on the mainland, but in Hong-Kong it is sold freely. Many supporters of Socialist Action risk their freedom to smuggle the magazine to the mainland. Zhang Shujie remains committed to revolutionary socialism and to the liberation of the Chinese working class. He is still a writer for ”Socialist” and hopes to return to China someday!

In Hong-Kong, students started with demonstrations on 22 September 2014. Soon they were joined by workers and many others, who rallied to fight for democracy. The pro-Beijing leader of Hong-Kong started to use the police to attack the demonstrators. He said that the workers and students were causing chaos, but although the police used brutal force and water cannons, the fighters for democracy stood firmly. Beijing called the demonstrations illegal and fully supported the brutal actions of the Hong-Kong police forces. ”You must obey the law” the government of Hong-Kong says, but the brave activists have not surrendered. Some politicians may try to find a compromise, but this is something the ruling state-capitalist party in China does not want to hear. If necessary they will go over corpses much like 1989. Revolutionary socialists support the fight for democracy and call on workers in China to rise up too.

Socialist Action calls:

  • For an urgent new 1-day student strike to reply to government and police repression!
  • For the immediate release of the Civic Square arrestees! Drop all charges!
  • For an independent and open public investigation of police brutality on 26-27 September!
  • Build democratic strike committees in every school and university to continue the struggle, with mass meetings and leafleting at schools!
  • For the creation of a mass school students union to organise secondary students and fight for their rights!
  • No nomination committee, no fake democracy! For mass struggle in Hong Kong and China to end one-party dictatorship and the rule of the billionaires!

Socialist Action – fighting for democratic socialism!