We have No illusions that a simple protest letter will win the fight for democratic right in China, but clearly understand our duty to stand shoulder to shoulder with the courageous protesters. Governments often rely upon domestic and international silence in situations like these to isolate protesters. Knowing full well that the Chinese government will stifle all internal protest on the mainland, it is even more important that the international trade union movement speak out not only to protest the actions of the Chinese government, but to embolden the protesters so that they know that working people the world over care about the success of their movement.
The unions letter is directed not only at the situation in Hong Kong but in China as a whole as it is impossible to separate the fate of Chinese democracy on simple geographic lines. The pro big business government on the mainland rules the people of Hong Kong and all of China.
We hope that you too can take a second to show both the pro democracy forces and the government of China that they eyes of the world are upon them by emailing your protest here.
Japan, Osaka, Kita-ku,
Temma 1-6-8 Rokko Temma Building 201
To: PRC President Xi Jinping, HKSAR Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying
Against the backdrop of massive labour unrest among manufacturing and transport workers in mainland China; students, residents, and members of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) have been protesting the 31 August government announcement that candidates for the position of Chief Executive would have to be vetted and approved by a pro-business, pro-Beijing committee.
These protesters have been attacked violently by police and pro-government thugs. Arrests have taken place while the mainland government has harshly condemned the protestors’ demands and the “illegal” protests.
The General Union stands by the protesting students and strikers to demand real democratic change and trade union rights for all Chinese workers. As the world’s manufacturer multinational corporations flock to China to take advantage of the Chinese government’s undemocratic policies and lack of workers’ rights we take the time to tell the government of China that we protest along with workers all over China and make the following demands.
1. Free elections with universal suffrage for the position of Chief Executive of Hong Kong.
2. The right to protest unfettered by police violence and arrests including the protection of protesters from all violence. Free all those arrested for union and protest activities.
3. The right to free trade unions, including the right to act and strike collectively.
4. We demand these rights not only for Hong Kong, but for all workers and residents of China regardless of where they reside.
Chair, General Union