Hong Kong: Pro-democracy Unions, Students Cannot Get Support Against Security Law

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Pro-democracy unions and a student group in Hong Kong couldn’t gain sufficient support to hold strikes in protest against the looming national security law imposed by Beijing. This is regarded as a blow to the pro-democracy movement. The anti-government movement which has been most violent has been ongoing for over a year now.

However, it is beginning to lose momentum due to a higher risk of arrest as it fails to get police approval due to the pandemic social distancing rule which prohibits gathering. A strike was planned to create a new avenue of resistance but the organizers stated that the intended strike could not garner strong support because only 8,943 union members out of a needed 60,000 threshold participated in a city-wide poll.

The strike couldn’t go on despite the fact that 95% voted in favor of the strike. Also, as a result of inadequate votes, the Secondary School Students Action Platform said it couldn’t begin a class boycott. The results of the voting, which was carried out on Saturday, were announced at midnight. Almost twenty-four industries were represented in the unions of which most were formed as pro-democracy activists campaigned for unionizing the laissez-faire, ultra-capitalist finance hub.

Actually, since the handover of Hong Kong by Britain to China in 1997, collective bargaining rights, in the aforementioned laissez-faire, ultra-capitalist finance hub, are not recognized. Foreign government and pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong are alarmed with the imposition of national security law which gives Beijing a tighter grip on the semi-autonomous city.

On Saturday, China declared that Beijing has powers over the enforcement of the legislation which means a profound change in the city since the handover in 1997. However, both Beijing and Hong Kong have given assurance to investors that the security law will not erode the city’s autonomy, saying it is meant to target a few who have been designated as ‘troublemakers’ and threat to national security.

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