I was lucky to witness the incredible protest in Hong Kong airport earlier this month.
I saw it the day before protesters succeeded in shutting down the whole airport, cancelling all departures.
Protesters sang, “Can you hear the people sing?” from the musical Les Miserables. They handed leaflets to travellers and held signs saying, “Sorry for the inconvenience, but we are fighting for our home.”
I didn’t see events in the following days, when the police turned up. But the incredibly moving display I witnessed was far from violent or a danger to civilians, as the Hong Kong government has branded protests.
The only violence I witnessed in my time there came from the police. I saw them use teargas against a peaceful assembly I attended in working class neighbourhood Wong Tai Sin.
As the protests intensify and so does the repression, the words of a friend and Hong Kong activist ring true.
“Democracy is not what the powerful grants you, it’s a gruelling daily process that every civilian needs to fight for day after day,” she said.
“I think any peaceful and rational actions are apparently not working now, as you can see the demands from the peaceful protesters all fall on deaf ears.”
She believes that, “Hong Kongers still face a lot of challenges. When the society gets more and more polarised, everyone is forced to choose a side.
“Society will end up with either people challenging or even overthrowing tyranny,” she says.
“Or some people—especially the irresolute—will become more frustrated and disappointed by the ordeal and become cynical.”
These next few weeks will be decisive for the movement. And they will need our solidarity to keep up their fight. Hong Kong people—keep fighting!
Oisin Challen Flynn
How we defied the US Nazis
Over 1,000 anti-fascist protestors in the US held a vibrant and joyful rally in downtown Portland, Oregon, earlier this month—outnumbering a bunch of Nazi thugs.
The Proud Boys—a Nazi street gang—had called a national demonstration “against terrorism”.
It was meant to coincide with the anniversary of Charlottesville—a fascist demonstration that led to the murder of anti-racist activist and trade unionist Heather Heyer.
Led by Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, the liberal establishment of Portland warned of a repeat of the deadly violence in Charlottesville.
They encouraged people to stay home.
But a coalition of left wing activists under the Pop Mob banner ignored the fear mongering.
They organised a Portlanders Unite to Stand Against Hate rally at the city’s waterfront.
In common with previous demonstrations the police facilitated the fascists.
Cops organised transport by public school busses, protection, and closed off a bridge for their exclusive use.
The Pop Mob rally was a festival of dancing, singing, and fancy dress.
Speakers spoke of their anger at the liberal leadership of the city and the need for ordinary people to organise against fascism.
How can we defend our migrant co-workers?
How will the trade union movement react when the first of its members is refused re-entry to Britain after a trip back to an EU country?
I would hope an immediate strike in the workplace to protect our fellow members should be organised.
Home secretary Priti Patel threatens on 1 November to exclude people who are our fellow workers and members of our communities. This will make their lives here more precarious. Maybe I’ve missed it. But I haven’t seen Dave Prentis of Unison or Len Mcluskey of Unite saying much about how Britain’s biggest unions are going to defend their members.
So it must be time to raise this issue in union branches and workplaces before it is too late. We can’t allow a wedge to be driven into the working class by any more scapegoating.
Right or wrong in Hong Kong?
The protests in Hong Kong looks like another colour revolution.
Started with good intention and right causes, but being hijacked by Western powers.
- Why is Socialist Worker siding with pro-right wing capitalist bootlickers of US regime change operations?
- Thank You Socialist Worker for supporting the Hong Kong protests.
Support the Asda workers
Good on the Asda workers fighting against new, worse contracts—and good luck to them.
Hope Johnson is humiliated
Boris Johnson recently described the French as “behaving like turds”.
I hope Emmanuel Macron will treat Boris Johnson with equal contempt and send him home humiliated.
Corbyn should back Brexit
I agreed with your editorial last week (Corbyn’s confusion over the European Union emboldens the right, Socialist Worker 21 August).
Corbyn should return to his old stance of opposing the European Union.
The left can’t fix Frontex
Nina Fenwick says the left should back remaining in the EU, and reform its brutal Frontex border guards (Letters, 21 August).
But Frontex reflects what the EU is all about—protecting the interests of European capitalists against the rest of the world, including refugees.