The union was in the forefront of the democracy movement from the beginning, and now faces reprisals and repression. HKCTU leaders and activists were arrested but released without charges on December 11 when police moved to break up the last of the democracy encampments. “Inciting” illegal assemblies is a serious charge with potentially stiff prison terms.
Union members and supporters rallying outside the police station were joined by IUF Asia-Pacific Regional Secretary Hidayat Greenfield, who condemned the government’s efforts to criminalize and intimidate democratic protest and pledged ongoing IUF support. Lee told the rally that the independent labour movement would not yield to pressure from the central government and the Hong Kong administration to abandon the struggle for democracy.