Labour Struggles

Stop fascism in Hong Kong! Uphold and defend the people’s right to democracy in HK!

29

Sep 2014

Stop fascism in Hong Kong!

Uphold and defend the people’s right to democracy in HK!

 

Fascism has reared its ugly head in Hong Kong.

 

This is the statement of the Asia Pacific Students and Youth Association (ASA, formerly known as the Asian Students Association) as it condemns in strongest possible terms the violent response of the Hong Kong government through its police force on the droves of local people, mainly composed of students and youth, who were calling for universal suffrage in Hong Kong.

 

Last night, September 28, the Hong Kong police used pepper spray, tear gas, batons and brute physical force to violently disperse the protesters who were demanding to elect their own Chief Executive. Some student leaders and other protesters have already been arrested and detained.

 

In response to this state-instigated violence, the protesters raised their hands to show that they did not wish to retaliate. But the police prodded on.

 

Seeing the violence committed by the police, people from all walks of life have poured out into the streets and expressed their support.

 

Earlier in the week, student unions belonging to the Hong Kong Federation of Students staged a student boycott in their respective universities in response to the China government’s refusal to allow universal suffrage in Hong Kong in 2017.

 

If it truly upholds democracy and the interests of its own people, the Hong Kong government should: (1) immediately stop the police from violently attacking the protesters; (2) immediately release the arrested and detained student leaders and other protesters; and (3) investigate on the violent dispersal and make accountable the officers who have initiated and commanded the violence.

 

We in the ASA are in strong solidarity with the youth and people of Hong Kong who continuously and courageously exercise their rights to uphold and defend democracy in Hong Kong. We call on all our member organizations in Asia Pacific and friends all over the world to pour their support and solidarity to our brothers and sisters in Hong Kong.

 

 Long live international solidarity!

 

ASA Statement -- 29 September 2014

Reference:

Rey Asis, regional secretariat member

(852-9588-9491)

KCTU strongly supports the general strike called by HKCTU for democracy!

29

Sep 2014

Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) strongly supports the general strike for democracy called by the HKCTU and urges the Hong Kong and Chinese government to listen the Hong Kong citizen’s demands and start a political reform.

 

In 1997, when the British handed back over Hong Kong to China, the Chinese government promised both in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law of Hong Kong that a democratic system eventually would be implemented in Hong Kong. However the implementation of this promise has been delayed and in August of this year the Chinese government offered a “fake universal suffrage” in which Hong Kong people are able only to choose one from 2~3 candidates who would be nominated by the ‘Nomination Committee’, which is under the influence of the Chinese government.

 

It is outrageous that Hong Kong police violently suppressed the peaceful protest of students and people, who are demanding a real universal suffrage. People in the protest maintained peace and order. However, the police destroyed the peace by attacking the unarmed protesters with pepper spray, baton and  shield and arresting them. It was very shocking and absurd. What the government of Hong Kong should do is to stand against the undemocratic decision of the Chinese government, not to suppress its people.

 

Workers in Korea understand very well from our experience that the armed suppression of peaceful protest is in itself destruction of democracy. This kind of violent rule is found in common in undemocratic government including Korea. Without freedom of speech and assembly, there is no democracy. Without democracy, there is no labour rights. Therefore, the general strike for democracy called by HKCTU is expression of civil rights and labour rights.

 

KCTU is also fighting against the undemocratic government and its business-friendly policy. We express our special solidarity and wish a victory. Governments of Hong Kong and China should withdraw the framework of the ‘fake universal suffrage’ and start the consultation of political reform. Business-leaning policy must stop and fair election system should be guaranteed.

 

September 29, 2014

 

Korean Confederation of Trade Unions

Say NO to censorship and fake universal suffrage Support to civil nomination

29

Nov 2013

Say NO to censorship and fake universal suffrage

Support to civil nomination

Chan Chiu Wai 

 

The incumbent Chief Executive C Y Leung was elected by 689 voters, while any student union leader might get more votes than he did. Worse than that, the 1,200 members of the Election Committee are mostly from the business sectors, who are elected by the heads of corporates and organizations. Such an electoral mechanism defines that the Chief Executive is picked the social upper class and interested groups, and the Chief Executive is, by default, serving his voters' interests. As universal suffrage of Chief Executive is promised by the Hong Kong Basic Law Article 45, the HKCTU and the pro-democracy camp are striving for a genuine universal suffrage in 2017. Yet, what is a genuine universal suffrage? The pro-Beijing camp has been indicating that a nomination committee should be installed, to select and ensure those candidates must be persons who love the country and love Hong Kong, in other words, not the pan-democrats in their logic. If that would be the case, Hong Kong people might only end up having the choice to vote for rotten oranges, smashed apples and spoiled watermelons. 

Until now, the Hong Kong SAR Government has been delaying to put out a universal suffrage proposal for public consultation, while it has become a heated debate in the civil society. The civil society is aiming to reach a consensus, to further advocate the Government to adopt a genuine universal suffrage method. In this issue of the HKCTU Newsletter, we are introducing some of the genuine universal suffrage methods. 

 

Method A

Method B

Method C

Formation of the nomination committee

Members included:

1.           District Council members (some 400 people)

 

2.           Based on 2012 election format

Election committee: about 1,100 members (including the Legislative Council members, after deducting some 100 seats from the District Council)

Total: 1,500

Members elected by  all citizens, by:

1.      dividing Hong Kong into 20 districts

2.      electing an average of 20 members from each district throughproportional representation system

Total: 400

Members included:

1.      District Council members (some 400 people)

2.      Legislative Council members (about 70 members)

Total: about 500

Nomination procedure

Nomination would be approved, when a candidate is meeting one of the following two requirements:

1.        Nominated by at least 10% of the nomination committee;

2.        Nominated by at least 2% of the registered voters of geographical direct elections (about 70,000 to 80,000 voters).

Nomination would be approved, when a candidate is nominated by at least 10% of the nomination committee.

Nomination would be approved, when a candidate is meeting one of the following two requirements:

1.        Nominated by at least 10% of the nomination committee;

2.        Nominated by at least 2% of the registered voters of geographical direct elections(about 70,000 to 80,000 voters).

Electoral procedure of universal suffrage

Two rounds of election:

-          First round: when a candidate gets more than half of the valid votes, s/he will be elected as the Chief Executive.

-          If none of the candidates get more than half of the valid votes at the first round, the two candidates have the most votes will enter the second round of election.

-          Second round: the candidate who gets most votes will be elected as the Chief Executive.

 

Cyd Ho: Civil nomination to avoid censorship

Both Methods A and C offer a way for general voters to nominate directly, which is commonly known as "civil nomination”. What exactly is it? Why is it essential? Legislative Council member Cyd Ho of the Labour Party explained us in an interview. 

"The Central Government and the Hong Kong SAR Government have been repeatedly blocking the democratic development in Hong Kong. Many Hong Kong citizens cast serious doubts on the universal suffrage in 2017, worrying that it would be a censored and fake election. One of the major worries is that Beijing would censer the candidacy though the nomination committee.  The formation method of nomination committee and eligibility of voters are indeed local regulations and the SAR Government could revise them by getting half of the Legislative Council members to pass its motion. With the help of the functional constituency at the Legislative Council, the Government and the pro-Beijing camp can manipulate the number and formation method of the nomination committee. As a result, an "obedient” committee is likely to remove candidates who are not blessed by Beijing, despite their popularity among the Hong Kong people. 

The civil nomination mechanism can guarantee candidates with wide support from the citizens to run for the election. Also, the nomination procedure is rather simply, the Government would only need to put the numbers of its requirement into its constitution, to make it a reliable electoral method. Some academics proposed a two-stage nomination, i.e. first openly nominated by the public and later to be reviewed by the nomination committee; yet, it would create two barriers for the candidates and violate the concept of open nomination by the citizens. 

In short, civil nomination can reassure the fairness of the election and should be included in the final electoral method. If the finalized electoral leaves it out, the people would lose confidence in Hong Kong's political reform.” 

Democratization of the political system is the key to strengthen the labour laws, to make changes in the unfair wealth distribution mechanism and to improve the living quality of the general public. The HKCTU has vowed to fight for the genuine universal suffrage and we need your support for our shared future.

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