Social Justice and Democracy

Canada’s unions stand in solidarity with citizens of Hong Kong

June 3, 2020

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) stands in solidarity with labour unions, workers and citizens in Hong Kong as they battle for their democratic freedom.

The latest escalation in this long-fought struggle is the recent introduction of national security legislation by the Chinese government which will allow Chinese state security forces to operate in Hong Kong.

“Our Brothers and Sisters are in the fight of their lives to save the core freedoms and principles of democracy in Hong Kong,” said CLC president Hassan Yussuff. “Canadian workers condemn the new security legislation and all attempts to strip people of their freedoms.”

Hong Kong holds separate governance status from China as a Special Administrative Region. This legislation is in direct violation of the Basic Law that mandates local legislation on national security matters, with Hong Kong in formal control of the police and judiciary. The new security law will broaden Beijing’s power over Hong Kong.

This is the latest in a series of actions aimed at broadening Beijing’s power over Hong Kong including last year’s extradition law. These moves have sparked fierce dissent from pro-democracy activists, which has been met with excessive use of force by authorities.

The annual Hong Kong vigil, held every June 4, marking the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, has been banned for the first time in 30 years. Concerns about the deterioration of rights are growing with dissent and protest in Hong Kong now routinely being labelled as terrorism and accounts of Chinese authorities imposing limitations on movement and assembly under the guise of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

When the Hong Kong administration passes the new law, the free exercise of fundamental rights, including the trade union right to freely associate and liaise with international organisations, will be suppressed in the name of national security. A frightening prospect ahead of elections planned in September.

The international community must keep watch and call attention to what is happening in Hong Kong.

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