Socialist Worker

Call for support from Dagongzhe-Migrant Worker Centre in China after attacks

A workers' centre in southern China has written a letter calling on the international labour movement for support after a series of attacks

Issue No. 2079

22 November 2007

Dear friends in workers' support and other labour organisations,

We are from the Dagongzhe-Migrant Worker Centre (DGZ Centre), a grassroots organisation in the Longgang District of Shenzhen City [in Guangdong province in southern China]. We provide free library, information services and consultation on labour law to migrant workers.

On both 11 October and 14 November, an unidentified group of people attacked and attempted to destroy the DGZ Centre's properties. On 20 November, the centre's legal advisor, Huang Qing-nan was attacked with knives by two assassins, in Longhu New Village, a community behind the centre. Huang was seriously injured.

We reported all three attacks to the Longdong Police Office and Tongle Police Station of Longgang District at once.

In recent months the DGZ Centre has been promoting the “Labour Contract Law” [giving extended legal rights to workers], which will come into force on 1 January 2008. We have also dealt with many enquiries from workers about this law.

The two attacks on the centre and the violence against Mr Huang prove that there are interest groups which are trying to paralyse the law before it can be implemented. They are openly airing their dissatisfaction with labour organisations.

On 21 November, we sent a letter via express post to Shenzhen City's chief of Public Security, demanding more patrolling and protection for Longdong area of Longgang District. We also asked him to investigate the cases carefully and proactively, to catch the criminals involved in these attacks and maintain the harmony of Shenzhen city. So far, no reply has been received.

The three attacks have not only affected us financially, but also harmed our staff physically. They have also created insecurity in the community. A large number of workers reported to us that they were threatened near factories and some were even physically assaulted.

These experiences reflect the difficulty of pursuing workers’ quest of justice and reveal the dangerous situation for labour groups.

We are now calling for different organisations and people in other walks of life, to take action, to stop this ongoing violence and injustice. We all want a stable and harmonious society.

Huang Qing-nan is still hospitalised in Longgang Central Hospital. He was moved from intensive care to the standard ward on 21 November. His left back and left leg had received most of the cuts.

Huang suffered an industrial injury several years ago and this has caused complications in his treatment. We sincerely hope to get information about better orthopedic and medical institutions.

We are also raising funds for his medical treatment, rehabilitation and living costs, which are estimated to be 200,000 yuan [£13,000], and your help is very much needed.

In solidarity,

Dagongzhe Migrant Worker Centre


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International
Tue 27 Nov 2007, 18:48 GMT
Issue No. 2079
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