China

Activist agenda: Safe and Equal calls protest

In the week 1-7 May, Safe and Equal and the PCS civil service workers’ union are jointly calling for protests demanding full sick pay for all. This is a central demand for controlling the spread of Covid by supporting workers to self-isolate when they should. They want people to use a poster at work places, in union meetings, with their friends and family, to show support, and to share pictures online of gatherings with the poster. Other actions proposed are raising the issue in your union branch, or helping another workplace or group of workers if yours already has full sick pay. The Uyghur...

Strong fossil-fuel reboot, weak plans

The fossil-fuelled reboot that we have long warned of in the wake of 2020’s Covid-19 lockdowns is on course to be record-shattering — and not in a good way. Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are set to see their second highest rise in human history. No, not the second highest levels of atmospheric CO2, nor even the second highest emissions or rate of addition to these levels. In both levels and emissions, 2021 is heading towards first place. Emissions are predicted to rise by 1.5 billion tons, to 33 billion — 33 thousand million tons — over the year, and that 1.5 billion rise is...

Remember the class-war prisoners!

The noted international trade union leader Dan Gallin used to say that what the labour movement needed is a “May 2nd Movement”. In other words, after all the wonderful speeches made on May Day, we need to focus on what happens every other day of the year and how we put our ideas into practice. In that spirit, on Sunday May 2, LabourStart will host a major online event focussing on what we sometimes call “class war prisoners”. It’s an archaic term, a leftover from the 1920s, and had been used by — among others — groups with names like “International Red Aid” and “International Labor Defense”...

Xinjiang: the UN report that wasn’t

Even by the standards of the Morning Star — a publication whose coverage of anything to do with China is now little more than Beijing propaganda — Kate Woolford’s article on 13 April was an extraordinary exercise in dissembling whataboutery. Woolford is, apparently, a member of the Southampton Young Communist League and social media editor of Challenge, the Young Communist League magazine. Her article is entitled “Xinjiang: staying afloat in a wave of disinformation” and claims to be an examination of “what is really going on in north-east China.” In fact, the article contains no new...

Activist agenda: Demand sick pay for all

The Safe and Equal campaign is running another “selfie campaign” in the first week of May, asking for people to take a photo of themselves and their workmates calling for full sick pay for all. Since spring 2020, Safe and Equal has been active in efforts to win or keep isolation pay in hospitals, in care homes, among Tube cleaners, and in virus Test Centres, with some wins but much ground still to be covered. With lockdown-easing, the Uyghur Solidarity Campaign is back to its regular 5th-of-the-month protests at the Chinese Embassy on Portland Place, London. Next: 5 May. • Links and info for...

Target Beijing's big-business allies!

Trade union leader Lee Cheuk Yan, socialist Leung Kwok Hung (“Long Hair”), and media mogul Jimmy Lai were given prison sentences of 14 months, 18 months and 14 months respectively, on 16 April, from their trial as leaders of the broad-based Civil and Human Rights Front. Some other defendants, including 82-year-old former barrister and moderate democrat Martin Lee, were given suspended sentences. Another trial started on 19 April, again on the charge of organising unauthorised assemblies, with three socialists, Avery Ng and Figo Chan from the League of Social Democrats, and Cyd Ho from the...

Civil liberties or the Chinese model?

Back in the early days of the pandemic (24 March 2020, to be precise), theMorning Star carried two articles, side by side: “Instead of chauvinism towards China, we must learn from China. All anti-racists have a duty to campaign for the government to drop any racist inhibitions and adopt the Chinese approach that saves the maximum number of lives”, began an article by Sabby Dhalu. Alongside, another writer had a piece about the emergency powers being enacted in the UK: “Concern as state control tightens — As the government races emergency powers through parliament to tackle the Covid-19...

Activist agenda: Free Osime Brown

Labour Campaign for Free Movement activists will support a new Justice for Osime Brown protest, demanding the threat of deportation be lifted, on Friday 16 April from 1 pm at the Home Office, 2 Marsham St, London SW1P 4DF. Previous campaigning headed off the danger of Osime being deported as soon as he was released from jail, but he is still not safe. The Uyghur Solidarity Campaign re-started its regular 5th-of-the-month 6 pm protest at the Chinese Embassy in Portland Place, London, on 5 April. The next one is Wednesday 5 May. Info on those campaigns and on others (Safe & Equal, Free Our...

Hong Kong activists face sentences on 16 April

HKCTU general secretary Lee Cheuk-yan (centre) On Thursday 1 April nine leaders of Hong Kong’s Civil Human Rights Front were convicted of organising and participating in an unauthorised assembly. Those convicted include most of the long term leading activists of the movement for democracy in Hong Kong, including 82 year old Martin Lee, Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) leader Lee Cheuk-yan and socialist activist Leung Kwok Hung (“Long Hair”). Sentencing was delayed for two weeks to 16 April. Prison sentences of up to five years for each offence may be handed down. Whilst waiting...

Uyghurs: the facts and history

Friday 5 March saw the first in a series of webinars organised by student Uyghur solidarity activists in London and California: SOAS Uyghur Society and SoCal Students for Uyghur Justice. This event focussed on the history of the Uyghur people and included introductions from academic researchers. The organisers plan to make the recording available online soon — the Uyghur Solidarity Campaign UK will share it. It’s well worth solidarity activists watching to gain some background and context. Lars Laamann looked back through centuries of the region’s history. Exploring the development of modern...

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