Hundreds of thousands of public and private sector workers responded to the August 5 strike call by the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU), which brought Hong Kong to a standstill. Workers organized workplace assemblies and marched in support of the HKCTU’s 5 demands: permanent withdrawal of the extradition bill; unconditional release of arrested protestors; withdrawal by the government of their characterization of the June 12 mass protests as a “riot”; an independent investigation into police violence and abuse of power; and full universal suffrage.
The HKCTU has been active and fully engaged in the wave of mass protest over the past two months, which has continued in the face of increasingly bellicose threats from the mainland authorities. The government’s failure to scrap the provocative extradition bill, police brutality and the authorities’ passivity in the face of organized attacks on protestors by rampaging gangs of thugs on July 21 have intensified widespread frustration over the thwarted implementation of universal suffrage promised in 1997.
The HKCTU is the only independent trade union in China. The IUF stands in solidarity with their struggle.
The IUF Asia/Pacific Regional Committee, meeting in Siem Reap, Cambodia July 31 – August 1, adopted a resolution from the Regional Youth Committee drawing attention to the significant role of IUF-affiliated unions and the “the way in which youth played a vital role in sustaining the protests over several months”. The Regional Committee expressed strong support for the movement’s demands, and called for “support for our youth and unions in Hong Kong by holding solidarity actions under the banner: No extradition bill! Support Hong Kong Youth & Unions to Defend Democracy.”