Mass resistance is the only way to defeat repression.

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Our Demands

  • Against disqualification (DQ) of elected legislators!
  • No banning of election candidates, no election rigging!
  • Release all political prisoners, drop the court proceedings against 2014 Umbrella Movement activists!
  • End political repression! Oppose Article 23 and National Anthem Law!
  • Solidarity with the democracy struggle in Hong Kong!
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What You Can Do?

There are many ways to support the campaigning work of Stop Repression in Hong Kong, both inside Hong Kong and internationally. With your support we can win!
  • Sign our petition and get your friends to sign.
  • Like and share our website and facebook page on social media, invite all your friends to like and share.
  • If you are a member of a trade union or political organisation ask your organisation to pass a motion supporting the campaign. Your organisation can also add its name to the petition. If you want to do this, but need more information to explain the case, go to our Campaign materials ( HERE ) section where you can download our leaflet, statement, and other material. If you want more help, contact us here ( EMAIL ) and give a short description of what advice or support you need and which organisation / country you are active in.
  • Write about the Stop Repression in Hong Kong campaign in your union or university newspaper, magazine, or website. Our campaign can also provide speakers to address meetings and answer questions about the situation in Hong Kong and China, through an online video conference. Trade unions can be asked to make a donation to our campaign fund.
  • If you are a student or active in a student organisation ask your organisation to pass a motion supporting the campaign. You can organise a meeting on campus about the repression in Hong Kong and China and ask us to provide a speaker (see above). You can reprint and use our leaflets and posters to spread information about our campaign – go to our Campaign materials ( HERE ) section. You can also reprint leaflets in simplified and traditional Chinese to distribute to Chinese and Hong Kong students who study in large numbers at overseas universities. Some of these students do not know the full extent of the repression that is taking place and even those who do can appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with others.
  • Contact members of parliament and ask them to support the campaign and sign the petition.
  • Start a local campaign group to spread the campaign’s material and arrange meetings and activists. Contact us for help. ( EMAIL )
  • Organise and join in protest actions to help put pressure on the Chinese and Hong Kong authorities and draw attention to violations of basic democratic rights. Some protests are coordinated through this website and our facebook page – the more countries and participants reached, the more effective the protests can be!
  • Use the media and social media! Spread news about any of the above activities. Post and share images of meetings, protests and leafleting campaigns. Contact overseas Chinese media as well as local media when organising activities – and be sure reports to Stop Repression in Hong Kong. ( EMAIL )
With your support, we can win!

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Who's Signed?

They have signed our petition - have you? Sign Here
  • Photo of Noam Chomsky
    Noam Chomsky
    Historian, author and social activist, USA
  • Photo of "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung (梁國雄)
    "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung (梁國雄)
    Disqualified former member of Legislative Council for LSD and veteran democracy campaigner, HONG KONG
  • Photo of Mametlwe Sebei
    Mametlwe Sebei
    President, General Industries Workers Union of South Africa (GIWUSA)
  • Photo of Peter Dahlin
    Peter Dahlin
    Former Director, China Action, SWEDEN
  • Photo of Nathan Law Kwun-chung (羅冠聰)
    Nathan Law Kwun-chung (羅冠聰)
    Disqualified former member of Legislative Council for Demosisto and political prisoner, HONG KONG
  • Photo of Søren Søndergaard
    Søren Søndergaard
    Member of Parliament and spokesperson on foreign affairs, Red-Green Alliance. DENMARK
  • Photo of Ian Hodson
    Ian Hodson
    National President, Bakers' Food & Allied Workers Union, BRITAIN
  • Photo of Kshama Sawant
    Kshama Sawant
    Seattle City Council member, Socialist Alternative, USA
  • Photo of Sally Tang Mei-Ching (鄧美晶)
    Sally Tang Mei-Ching (鄧美晶)
    Chairperson Socialist Action, HONG KONG
  • Photo of Paul Murphy TD
    Paul Murphy TD
    Member of Parliament representing Solidarity-The Left Alternative, IRELAND
  • Logo of CPS-Conlutas
    CSP-Conlutas
    CSP-Conlutas national trade union confederation, BRAZIL

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Q&A on the Hong Kong Government’s Crackdown

Hong Kong’s democracy movement, which has mobilised millions in the past 20 years, is under attack.
The government is rigging elections, jailing activists and rolling out new laws to force obedience to the Chinese dictatorship. Our "questions and answers" deals with the most common questions.

  • Is Hong Kong a Democracy?

    Hong Kong has never had a democratic political system. Its government is not elected. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s global ‘Democracy Index’, Hong Kong is ranked 71 in the world, on the same level as Paraguay and Namibia. Hong Kong’s Chief Executive is chosen once every five years by a committee (1,194 members) dominated by billionaires and millionaires. The Chinese regime controls the process – only its candidates can win. The current Chief Executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, was chosen in March 2017 with just 777 votes.

  • Why is the Hong Kong government banning election candidates and disqualifying elected legislators?

    It wants to quell the democracy movement and demands for genuine elections (universal suffrage). It follows orders from the Chinese regime, which fears the democracy struggle will ‘infect’ China, endangering its hold on power. Six opposition legislators have been disqualified – referred to as ‘DQ’ – from the Legislative Council (Legco) using new rules to declare the oaths they swore were “invalid”. The government has banned more than a dozen individuals from standing in elections.
    Some parties are also now banned as in the case of student-led Demosisto. Some former election candidates are banned because the courts put them in jail – on government orders. Even Hong Kong’s mini-constitution the Basic Law says everyone has a right to stand in elections, but in reality this is not the case.

  • Is the government acting within the law

    It is trying to hide its political agenda of increased authoritarian control behind a smokescreen of upholding the law. The government’s Justice Department ordered the court to ‘re-sentence’ young protesters in August 2017, who were initially given non-custodial sentences (community work) after being found guilty of “unlawful assembly”. All were all re-sentenced to prison terms of between six and 13 months. (some of these sentences have since been overturned by the Court of Final Appeal).
    In the case of the “invalid oaths” used to throw out six legislators, this came from a completely made-up law imposed by China’s National People’s Congress (NPC). The NPC, an arm of China’s dictatorship, can make binding ‘interpretations’ of the Basic Law – so the unelected NPC is the ultimate power over the courts in Hong Kong.

  • Does the Basic Law protect democratic rights

    The Basic Law enshrines basic civil liberties and some democratic rights. But its commitment to universal suffrage is weak and contradictory – saying this is an “ultimate aim”. It states that the Chief Executive (and therefore the government) “will be appointed by the Central People’s Government on the basis of the results of elections or consultations” (Article 3, section 4). The Basic Law is so full of caveats it’s a gift to a despotic regime like China.
    The Basic Law was never endorsed in a democratic vote. Its democratic elements were included under mass political pressure. It was imposed on Hong Kong in the 1980s after a deal was struck between British colonial regime and the Chinese dictatorship, through an elite Basic Law committee that was dominated by the two governments and Hong Kong’s wealthiest capitalists. The Basic Law outlaws any other economic system than capitalism, until 2047, and also bans budget deficits – a key tenet of neo-liberal economics.

  • Was it better under British rule

    Many people today say it was better, but they generally mean there was less poverty and inequality. And from the 1970s to the 1990s, the housing crisis wasn’t as extreme as it is now. One thing it wasn’t, however, was democratic. The British were colonialists not liberators. They ruled Hong Kong for 156 years and never once held an election for government.
    Nowadays the British establishment is largely silent over Hong Kong, because it is more concerned about billions of dollars worth of business deals with the Chinese regime.

  • Is the Legco democratic

    Only half the seats in Legco are elected. It was designed – by the British – to provide a ‘democratic’ cover for an unelected government. In Legco elections the pro-democracy opposition regularly win a big majority, roughly 60 percent of the votes, but because of its undemocratic make-up the pro-government camp win 60 percent of the seats.
    Today, as part of the government’s authoritarian crackdown, the powers of the Legco have been further weakened. After expelling opposition legislators last year the pro-government side had a large enough majority to re-write the Legco rules – a self-inflicted “castration”.

  • If the Legco is powerless why does the government need to rig elections and ban candidates

    Despite its limited powers, the Legco has become an important platform for the struggle for democratic rights. The opposition legislators can lift the veil on government corruption, pro-billionaire policies and the new threat to democratic rights.
    The moderate pro-democracy parties, which shy away from mass struggle and favour conciliation with the regime, have lost ground to more radical groups – these got a quarter of the total vote in 2016. This reflects mass radicalisation and frustration that the democracy struggle has arrived at a dead-end. So now the government is further rigging an already undemocratic system, to keep more radical forces out of the Legco. Ultimately, this will just shift the focus away from the Legco, towards the streets.

  • How does the government control the Legco if the opposition wins 60 percent of the popular vote

    Because the Legco is not democratic. – half its seats are filled from so-called functional constituencies, controlled by big business and special interest groups. Only around 240,000 people are eligible to vote in functional constituencies out of a total electorate numbering 3.7 million, so each functional vote is worth 12.5 ordinary votes.
    Results of 2016 Legco elections, showing how the elitist functional constituencies overrule the popular vote and guarantee government and big business control.

    Figure of 2016 Legco election result
  • What are the main demands of the democracy movement

    The main demand is to end the current undemocratic system by introducing genuine universal suffrage.
    But the Chinese dictatorship fears that such a seemingly modest reform in Hong Kong would set off a chain reaction. So rather than reform, the dictatorship is moving in the opposite direction. That is why it reneged on a vaguely worded promise, made in 2005 (in the face of massive political protests), to allow a phased transition to “universal suffrage”.
    What was eventually offered was nothing like real universal suffrage but a manipulated Iranian-style election system. This was the infamous ‘831 ruling’ (31 August 2014), which sparked the 2014 Umbrella Revolution.

  • What was the Umbrella Revolution and what did it achieve

    This mass movement, with umbrellas used to protect demonstrators against police pepper spray, began on 28 September 2014, after the government used heavy force to disperse youth protests. The Umbrella Revolution did not have a developed list of demands or clear leaders. It was a largely spontaneous mass rejection of Beijing’s fake universal suffrage. Up to 2.3 million people joined the protests. Thousands occupied the streets for a total of 79 days – longer than the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.
    The government rode out the storm, harassing the protests with police and triad gang raids, court injunctions, and a media barrage saying the movement was “losing support”. Its secret weapon was exhaustion. Occupy-type movements – as seen in many countries – can be a good starting point for a mass movement for political change, but occupation alone has never won. There is a need to escalate to strikes and to build mass democratic committees to direct the struggle. Against a powerful dictatorship the democracy struggle needs to be based on the working class, which is not just society’s biggest class, but also the force that makes the economy and society run. In South Korea and South Africa mass strikes by the workers tipped the balance in the struggle against dictatorships.

  • How can the government’s undemocratic policies be stopped

    Only by mass resistance. The first step is to realise that there will never be a “final” attack – disqualification, jailing, undemocratic laws – these are all pieces of a long-term agenda by the Chinese dictatorship to extend its control over Hong Kong and shut down the democracy movement. Their model for Hong Kong is Singapore or Macau – with a much-weakened democratic opposition. So, the fight back cannot solely focus on court cases or elections, necessary as these are, and much less on waiting passively for the storm to pass.
    Those democratic forces that are serious about resisting the authoritarian crackdown should help initiate a democratic conference open to all groups to discuss a one-day Hong Kong-wide strike as part of a strategy to relaunch mass resistance. This could begin with the students. A new democracy movement needs to be built with a working class core – a new party of grassroots workers and the poor. Most parties today have become vehicles for one or two ‘leading personalities’ mostly active on social media. But what’s needed is a democratic organisation with a mass membership of 10,000s, rooted in campaigning and struggle. Such a force could coordinate the fight back and appeal across the border to the Chinese masses to join the anti-authoritarian struggle.

  • Is the struggle in Hong Kong gaining international support and can that make a difference

    For decades the main pro-democracy parties paid little attention to international solidarity because they believed democracy was “only a matter of time”. This was never true: democracy has only ever triumphed as a result of mass revolutionary struggle. They also wrongly believed there was significant support for democratic change from foreign governments. But as Beijing steps up its attacks on democratic rights, this has not met with any serious protests from capitalist companies and governments. They have built strong ties with the Chinese dictatorship based on a common interest in putting money before ‘politics’.
    There is enormous potential sympathy around the world for the struggle for democratic rights in Hong Kong and China, but not among ministers and CEOs. It is among the workers, youth, women and other oppressed layers. This is where the international solidarity movement against authoritarian rule needs to be built.

* This Q&A is reproduced with the kind permission of chinaworker.info

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Download Our Posters and Leaflets

Posters

香港政府可恥,釋放政治犯 Placard for protest at MTR office:
Shame on Hong Kong government
Release all political prisoners
不要公安,入侵香港 Placard for protest at MTR office:
No Chinese Public Security in Hong Kong
港鐵淪爲政治工具,政府鎮壓可恥 Placard for protest at MTR office:
Hong Kong MTR is a tool of political repression
Shame on Hong Kong government
反對二三條,停止鎮壓,唯有羣衆鬥爭 No to Article 23
Only mass resistance can defeat repression
#NotMyPresident 打倒獨裁體制,實現全面民主 #IDisagree #我不同意# Down with dictatorship, for immediate full democratic rights (Traditional Chinese)
#NotMyPresident 打倒獨裁體制,實現全面民主 #IDisagree #我不同意# Down with dictatorship, for immediate full democratic rights (Simplified Chinese)
歷史重複上演,第一次是鬧劇,第二次是悲劇。 History repeats itself… first as farce,
then as tragedy

Leaflets

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