Early before the outbreak of the anti-extradition bill movement in 2019, the Beijing regime has been gradually restricting the political space of Hong Kong, where the public demands, like the advocacy of labour policy, have been consistently neglected.
In the last year, in the name of national security and combating the pandemic, the government deprived people of their political and labour rights more and more ruthlessly. Public rallies have been banned by the police for more than a year; even the trade unions’ street promotion events have been subject to prosecutions.
This suppression has encroached on the workplace and threatened workers in Hong Kong and their professional integrity. Examples include:
- Civil servants, who have only served the public interest with political neutrality until being requested to additionally declare allegiance to the Basic Law;
- Members of the healthcare workers’ unions, pursued and denounced by the authority for their participation in the strike that demanded full border closure to prevent the pandemic;
- A teacher whose license was revoked for using political issues to facilitate students’ critical debates;
- A journalist, who was arrested after investigating news materials with a public services portal; and
- Social workers who mediated the protest scenes but were arrested and even charged with rioting, a charge that was too arbitrary to stay valid.
The above harassment against professionalism of workers received protests from their respective trade unions, although their voices were ignored by the authorities as usual.
The state suppression of workers is also observable in the prosecution of the trade union leaders.Candidates of the pro-democratic primaries of the Legislative Council election in July 2020, including Carol NG, Chair of Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) and Winnie YU, Chair of Hospital Authority Employees Alliance, were arrested for alleged subversion of state power. Over ten thousand people have been arrested since 2019 because of the movement and the new national security law, one of whom is LEE Cheuk-yan, General Secretary of HKCTU. He is bearing nine charges, all related to four massive but unauthorised pro-democratic rallies, such as the June Fourth candlelight vigil. His first trial begins on 16 February, while the remaining ones come subsequently.
However, speaking of the will to struggle, these challenges will only render us to fight harder as time goes on, until the victory.
As we persist in the struggle, it is also significant to have support from everywhere. A video is dedicated here for you to understand the situation in Hong Kong:
We Love Freedom in Hong Kong
Additionally we invite you and your organisation to:
Spread your word or photo of support in your social media, with the hashtags #WeLoveFreedominHK and #SolidarityWithHKUnion;
Send a solidarity letter to HKCTU.
Follow on the updates via channels like HKCTU’s Twitter page;
Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions