The city-state of Hong Kong, a former British colonial outpost turned reclaimed territory of mainland China, used to be known as one of the best places to do business in Asia. Now it’s the best place to wage a mass social uprising. The past few weeks have seen a protest movement against a controversial extradition bill, which would have permitted China to remove fugitives from Hong Kong to the mainland, spiral into an increasingly militant revolt against Beijing’s dominion. This past week was punctuated by intensifying street clashes between protesters and police, as well as the first general strike in several decades. We spoke with activists on the ground to gauge what these recent events signify about Hong Kong’s restive political insurgencies, the role of the left and labor, and why the latest wave of protests has mobilized people across the social spectrum, even against a backdrop of growing economic frustration and rising inequality.
In other news, we look at young guestworkers in the United States, the economic benefits of abortion access, the collapse of a storied British shipyard, and the social devastation wrought by Homeland Security’s latest anti-immigrant raids. And in other news, YouTubers boost a new unionization campaign, and Kentucky mine workers demand justice from King Coal.
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Save Harland and Wolff (Tribune)
L.H. Au, Workercom
Wong Yu-loy, Organising Coordinator, Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions
Michelle: One Country, Two Systems, Millions in the Streets (Dissent)
Hong Kong’s Fight for Life (Dissent)
Sarah: Alexandra Bradbury, Kentucky Miners Are Camped Out on Railroad Tracks, Blocking a Coal Train, Demanding Their Stolen Wages (Labor Notes)
Michelle: Edward Ongweso Jr, The YouTubers Union Is Not Messing Around (Vice)