China/Hong Kong: Thousands on the streets for more freedoms

In recent weeks hundreds of thousands of young people mobilised in Hong Kong, initially against the extradition law promoted by the pro-Beijing government of Carrie Lam’s, and then to take up again the democratic slogans that promoted the massive mobilisations of 2014 with the “umbrella revolution”.

The extradition bill defended by Carrie Lam’s government, aims to give more power to the central Chinese dictatorship led by the CCP, over the autonomy of the former British colony, by allowing extradition of suspects of common crimes to Beijing. When the debate on this bill began in Parliament, hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers mobilised and surrounded the building in repudiation of the bill, denouncing that the Chinese dictatorship could use it to extradite activists fighting for democratic rights.

With this project, the semi-autonomy enjoyed by Hong Kong enters a dispute. Although the agreement between Great Britain and China (1997), for transferring sovereignty, will last until 2047 where China cannot intervene in the former’s autonomy colony, with the extradition law China would violate in principle the judicial autonomy in the framework of the division of powers that Hong Kong has. But, in addition, it is a new advance of the capitalist dictatorship of the Chinese CP (CCP) in pursuit of further undermining the few democratic rights and freedoms that exist in Hong Kong. This law seeks to persecute, pressure and criminalise the opposition sectors, it is defended by the Chinese dictatorship for fear that this democratising wave will replicate in mainland China where millions of workers and peasants live exploited and without the right to protest, nor democratic freedoms, such as building a political party different from the CCP, unionising,…

As happened with the “umbrella revolution” in 2014, in which hundreds of thousands of people, especially students, demonstrated against the Hong Kong executive, demanding free and democratic elections. They kept the economic capital paralyzed for three months, with sit-ins and mobilisations that summoned hundreds of thousands of citizens. That democratic rebellion in Hong Kong is part of the struggle that is being waged throughout China to end the dictatorship of the single party, for the free right to strike, to free speech, to organise trade unions, student centres, political parties and full democratic freedoms. It is that rebellion that is being replicated throughout Hong Kong today.

They achieved a first triumph, because of mobilisation, pushing back the dictatorship Carrie Lam is playing as a mainland China puppet, who had to suspend the treatment of the law. The enthusiasm for this first victory emboldens the movement to continue for the definitive elimination of the law and Carrie Lam’s resignation.

Last Monday, 1 July, thousands of demonstrators took over parliament during a massive mobilisation on the 22nd anniversary of Britain’s 1997 return of Hong Kong to China. The demonstrators seized the parliament for hours, repressed with tear gas to leave. The Hong Kong youth and workers continue to be mobilised for the definitive fall of the extradition law, against police repression, for Carrie Lam’s resignation and for free elections.

From the International Workers’ Unity – Fourth International we call on workers, women and youth of the world to show solidarity with the Hong Kong workers and youth who fight for democratic demands. We call to repudiate the repression of Carrie Lam’s police who defends the interests of the capitalist dictatorship of the Chinese CP and any attempt of intervention of the dictatorship of the CCP.

Eduardo Ruarte