The International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS) expresses its solidarity to the people in Hong Kong as they face anew the threat of violation of the one country, two systems principle with the introduction of the new security law that circumvents Hong Kong’s legislative and judicial systems.
Despite the continuing threat of COVID-19 and restrictions on gatherings, the people in Hong Kong have again started to mount protests which has been characterized with even more brutal response from the Hong Kong police. A few months before, perceived leaders of the protest movement last year were arrested on various grounds and were only released on bail.
It should be recalled that the latter half of last year was characterized by widespread protest actions by democratic forces in Hong Kong against the proposed extradition bill that would have bypassed Hong Kong’s own systems. The protest movement later included more urgent economic and political concerns of the people in Hong Kong. Excessive violence by the Hong Kong Police were met with indignation.
Activists in Hong Kong are characterizing the move to have a national security law even more dangerous than the aborted extradition law last year. Aside from the process of how it is being introduced, it is also feared to be used to prevent similar protests actions as what happened last year against the proposed new extradition law but this time, under the guise of curtailing subversion, secession and terrorism. Solidarity-building can also be possibly threatened by the law.
In 2003, Hong Kong tried to enact a national security law using Article 23 of the Basic Law. However, massive opposition from the people forced the Hong Kong government to retract the plan.
The national security law is expected to be completed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress by June or August this year. The law is expected to direct organs in Hong Kong – administrative, legislative and judiciary – to prevent, suppress and punish activities perceived to endanger national security. There are also reported talks that offenders of the security law will be sent and prosecuted under the legal system of Mainland China. Alongside the national security law, the Hong Kong government is also expected to complete implementation of Article 23.
It is also gravely concerning that the new security law is being pushed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic when the people’s economic problems are worsening while the exercise of their civil and political rights are limited both by the fear of infection as well as restrictions on mobility in place. As the world faces a heightened wave of crisis, the Hong Kong people’s economic and social problems are expected to also worsen, and the new security is a preemptive measure to control an increasingly restive people.
Democratic forces in Hong Kong must persist in pushing back against moves to trample on the one country, two systems principle. While doing so, they must also remain vigilant against other foreign powers such as the US, UK and others who may subvert the legitimate causes of the people in Hong Kong to grab the upper hand on their economic and political war with China. They must persevere in the building of solid mass organizations of the people and a movement with clear agenda against attacks of people’s economic, political, civil and social rights.
Resist attacks to democratic rights!
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
22 June 2020