The Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong was under police siege for more than a week. The interviewed protester is in his early 20s, belongs to left-wing circles, and has been active in the movement for months. The interview took place on November 24, days after he had left the besieged campus. He describes not only the clashes and the series of other events during the siege but also the role of politicians, teachers, and social workers in pursuading protesters to surrender.
Mid-November saw encouraging events during the days of "three strikes " or "Saam Baa" – see this report on the workers' strikes, students' class boycotts, and stop the city actions. This week, three events stand out and each represents a political weakness of the movement.
On Monday, November 18, 2019, thousands of protesters came to the southern tip of Kowloon in Hong Kong to demonstrate and eventually try to break the police cordon around the occupied Polytechnic University where hundreds of students held out. This is a personal account of the day, written with a lot of adrenaline.
This report is mostly based on eye-witness accounts and discussions with protesters in Hong Kong over the past week. It describes the latest escalation of the protest movement's struggle against the Hong Kong government and police and the “saam baa” or “three strikes” actions in mid-November 2019: workers’ strike, class boycott, closure of businesses.
The development of the movement until early September was described in a earlier posting. This is an update. While the clashes between police and protesters in Hong Kong have further escalated, it is the daily practice of exchange, organizing, and solidarity – with all its contradictions – that makes up the strength of the movement.
The Hong Kong government is so far mainly using repressive measures against the mass movement, but, recently, state media in China have started pushing for a change in the city's housing policy – possibly a first sign for economic concessions in reaction to the pressure ‘from below.’
The 'Chinazi'-slogan and the way ‘police brutality,’ ‘authoritarianism,’ the ‘rule of law’ and ‘democracy’ are discussed show some of the political contradictions of the movement in Hong Kong.
A selection of timelines and of left-wing articles and interviews on the movement. Obviously, the positions in the articles and interviews are diverse – and some disputable – but this material offers a good overview of the movements trajectory and the positions of left-wing activists and observers. The list will be updated.
This article is the result of recent discussions with protesters and left-wing activists in Hong Kong. It gives a short overview of the escalated confrontation and argues that the broad ignorance of the global left is a mistake. Despite its limitations, the movement constitutes a major challenge for the right-wing regime of China’s Communist Party (CCP) and could be the prelude for more struggles against the capitalist relations in Hong Kong, the People's Republic of China, and elsewhere.