Global Solidarity from Trade Unions and Labour Organizations
Free Detained Chinese Labour Activists Now!
Since 3 December, the authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong have carried out a coordinated and wide-ranging crackdown on labour rights activists and labour organizations in the province. More than 25 people from at least four labour organizations have been taken away and questioned by the police. At least seven of them have been criminally detained or currently uncertain whereabouts. Those five who are being put under criminal detention on charges include: Zeng Feiyang, the director of Panyu Workers’ Centre and labour organizer Zhu Xiaomei; labour activist He Xiaobo, who runs a group in Foshan called Nanfeiyan that helps injured workers; Activist Peng Jiayong, the founder of a workers’ self-help group, and another labour activist Deng Xiaoming. The authorities have prevented lawyers from meeting any of the detained. Labour activist Meng Han is being detained at Guangzhou City No. 1 Detention Centre. The police has continued to harass and intimidate the family members and friends of the detained activists and prevented them from giving media interviews.
On Dec 21th, 2015, trade unions and labour NGOs from around the globe demonstrated their solidarity in support the detained Chinese labour activists. Global trade unions including the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), IndustriALL, International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Association (IUF), and national unions from France, Italy, Sweden, Belarus, New Zealand, Cape Verde, the Philippines and Sri Lanka have respectively expressed their concerns to the Chinese government and demanded the release of the detained labour activists.
Unions, labour organizations, and activists have also protested in front of Chinese Embassies/Consulate General in Britain, France, Switzerland, South Korea, and Denmark. Labour organizations from Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and the US have also expressed their concerns and protests with various actions.
About 50 representatives from the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions and other labour rights organizations from Hong Kong also joined the league in support of the global action by staging a protest march starting from the Western District Police Station to the China’s Liaison Office. The representatives present a joint petition signed up by more than 155 labour organizations and over 2,000 individual supporters across the world for urging the Chinese authorities to release the recently detained labour activists in the country.
This wave of global protests further demonstrate the illegitimacy of the arrests and strengthen our struggle for the release of the detained activists. You can also participate in the solidarity action by signing the online campaign on LABOUR START (http://www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=2916).