Interview: China tightens grip on Hong Kong with new security law

Interview with Lam Chi Leung, a socialist based in Hong Kong and a member of Left21, a socialist collective.

Hong Kong residents are now living under the new reality of China’s imposed “security law.” Revolutionary socialists find themselves in a difficult and dangerous situation, as do all social and democratic activists.

The Hong Kong Security Law is framed by a complex relationship between U.S. and Chinese imperialism. The trade war between the two nations has led to posturing that includes President Trump’s threatening to ban the Chinese social media platform TikTok while at the same time blaming the horrors of COVID-19 on China. Trump said in an interview with Gray Television, “It’s a big business. Look, what happened with China with this virus, what they’ve done to this country and to the entire world is disgraceful.”

The movement for democratic rights in Hong Kong can also be placed in the broader context of the fight against police brutality and in general state repression. The explosion of the movement against police brutality in the U.S. has similar parallel movements in many countries and places, including Hong Kong.

Read the full interview in Socialist Resurgence.


Campaign by the Kurdish Women’s Movement in Support of Political Prisoners around the World

We propose the following in forming a campaign called, “Solidarity keeps us alive”,

  • To establish meaningful contact between prisoners, especially women, relatives and supporters and to make the situation and voices of the prisoners heard in society.
  • To set up initiatives in all countries to support prisoners and launch petition campaigns against the prison policies of governments.
  • To demand the United Nations, Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), Amnesty International (AI) and similar organizations exert political and diplomatic pressure on the states in question, demanding the immediate release of all political prisoners.

Read the full statement on the Solidarity Keep Us Alive website.

Dialogue Between Socialist Feminists from China, Russia, Turkey

A panel by Alliance of MENA Socialists, March 1, 2020

Watch the panel here.

Zoe Zhao: Sociology PhD student working on issues of gender, digital labor and transnational social movements. Having volunteered for several NGOs and social movement networks in China and the US, she hopes to contribute to contemporary transnational organizing via activist scholarship.

Anna Nizhnik: Associate Professor, Russian State University for the Humanities. Socialist feminist, publisher, activist. Specializes in Literary Gender Studies and Women’s History.

Ecehan Balta:  Holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, master’s degree and PhD in  Political Science. She has been an ecosocialist feminist activist for around 30 years.  She is a member of Baslangic (A Start) Collective founded after  the Gezi uprising in 2013 as a combination of movements from different political origins. She is also a member of Socialist Alternative, a Turkish section of ISA (International Socialist Alternative).

Moderated by Fatemeh Masjedi:   Iranian academic historian and activist based in Berlin. Member of the Alliance of Middle Eastern and North African Socialists.  She was a political prisoner in Iran because of her women’s rights activities.

Pandemic sidelines more than 1,000 incarcerated wildfire fighters in California

Our coalition’s member Dr. Romarilyn Ralston interviewed by Maanvi Singh for The Guardian, July 10, 2020

“Every fire season it’s the same,” said Romarilyn Ralston, who leads Project Rebound, a California State University program that supports formerly incarcerated students. “The pay is so little, the work is so dangerous. Now we add Covid-19 to the story, and it gets even worse.”

The crews are both crucial and heavily exploited, said Ralston, who worked at a fire camp while incarcerated. In exchange for extremely dangerous work, prisoners earn time off their sentences and are paid between $2 and $5 a day, plus $1 per hour when they are on a fire. Because incarcerated firefighters are paid so little, the program saves the state of California $90m to $100m a year.

“It’s a super imbalanced system; it’s much like the system of slavery,” said Deirdre Wilson, a master’s student of social work at the University of Southern California and a member of the California Coalition of Women Prisoners. “There’s a reliance on this population, on this cheap labor.”

Read the full article in The Guardian.