Sun, Sep 03, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Groups call for release of HK democracy advocates

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Protesters gathered outside the Hong Kong Economic, Trade and Cultural Office in Taipei yesterday to demand the release of imprisoned Hong Kong democracy advocates.

At the rally, a handful of International Socialist Forward members burned photographs of Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) and Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥).

“We support the upgrade of Hong Kong’s democratic movement to include work and class strikes so its energy is condensed and moves toward shaking up the system and forcefully striking back against the Chinese Communist Party’s [CCP] authoritarian regime,” group member Vincent Hsu (許偉育) said.

He led participants in shouting: “Today’s Hong Kong, Tomorrow’s Taiwan.”

“We can see that the government and courts of Hong Kong have a clear plan to suppress democracy movements and make their voices disappear,” he said, calling for the release of political prisoners, withdrawal of lawsuits against protesters and the restoration of six pro-democracy Hong Kong lawmakers’ positions.

The lawmakers were disqualified by the court after modifying their oaths of allegiance to China during a swearing-in ceremony.

International Socialist Forward is a branch of the international Trotskyist group Committee for a Workers’ International, an organization whose Hong Kong branch, Socialist Action, has endorsed disqualified lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung (梁國雄).

Socialist Action has closely cooperated with Leung’s League of Social Democrats party in protests and elections, Hsu said.

While the Committee for a Workers’ International and affiliated groups are differentiated from many Hong Kong democracy groups by their support for massive nationalization and socialist welfare policies, their common opposition to the CCP’s “capitalist one-party dictatorship” leaves substantial room for cooperation, he said.

“We support their freedom of speech and democratic rights, but that does not mean that we completely agree with their stances,” he said, citing Hong Kong democracy advocate Joshua Wong’s (黃之鋒) “illusions about the US” that “if we did not first support Hong Kong’s democracy movement, it would cut us off from the masses.”

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