#union #iww #occupy #ows #p2 #p21 #tlot #tcot #teaparty 

Remembering June 4: Vital lessons for today’s democracy struggle 


Hong Kong’s ‘Occupy Central’ leaders embellish the role of the middle class and ‘legality’ – ignoring key lessons from 1989

This article from the current issue of Socialist magazine, produced by the Chinese section of the CWI, takes up some lessons from the epic 1989 mass movement against the Chinese dictatorship, and how they apply to today’s democratic struggle. In Hong Kong a new initiative dubbed ‘Occupy Central’ has been launched by law professor Tai Yiu-ting, supported by the leaders of the main ‘pan democratic’ (bourgeois pro-democracy) parties. This plans for a mass occupation of the city’s business district to commence in 2014. The struggle centres on which electoral rules will apply for upcoming elections for the Chief Executive (head of government) in 2017, and the ‘Legco’ (pseudo parliament) in 2016 and 2020. Beijing has vaguely promised to allow a free vote (universal suffrage) starting in 2017, but – as CWI comrades warned – its ‘concessions’ fall a long way short of even the limited forms of democratic elections that apply in Western countries.  CWI supporters welcome all proposals for mass struggle, including for a mass occupation, while stressing that this alone is not enough. The kind of struggle envisaged by the bourgeois ‘pan democratic’ tops falls far short of what is needed to break the resistance of the Chinese dictatorship. At the same time the political landscape in Hong Kong is becoming more complex and fragmented with the emergence of a small but vocal ‘autonomy’ movement that uses racist arguments against mainland Chinese, but has captured some support among youth especially due to growing discontent with the pro-government camp, but also with the ineffective and weak-kneed ‘opposition’ of the pan democratic leaders...