It is necessary to respond to Stalinist attacks on the Hong Kong protests drawing crowds from 400,000 to 1.7 million. It should surprise no one that the same political hacks who denounce popular protests in Nicaragua, Venezuela, & Russia, support the Assad regime & bombing of civilians, deny the Uyghur & Rohingya genocides, support Duterte’s vigilante war on the poor, are now denouncing the Hong Kong protests as “an attack on socialism.” They’ve been denouncing them since the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests.

One of the main demands of the Hong Kong movement is opposition to China’s Extradition Law where those charged with a crime can be extradited to, prosecuted & jailed in mainland China. Stalinists support the Extradition Law, presenting it as a law where accused rapists, murderers, robbers, & other common criminals would be prosecuted on the mainland. For what reason they would have to be prosecuted hundreds of miles from the scene of the crimes is not elaborated. In fact, those China would be extraditing are political activists from the 2014 protests; those who protest & demand justice for the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989; those who annually honor labor organizer & dissident Li Wangyang who was jailed for 21 years of hard labor, torture, & solitary confinement, charged with ‘counterrevolutionary propaganda, incitement, & subversion’ for supporting the Tiananmen Square movement. During imprisonment, he lost his sight & hearing from torture & was released to a hospital for treatment of diabetes & heart disease. Although unable to stand on his own, he was found hanged in his hospital room which Chinese officials declared a suicide. He was an extraordinary man & should be honored. But Hong Kong protesters who honor him every year & demand justice would be arrested, extradited, & prosecuted in mainland China where they would face the same fate Li Wangyang did. Let’s be clear. It isn’t that Stalinists are obtuse & really believe common criminals are the target here. It’s that their politics support political repression, gulags, mass murder of dissidents.

As for that rubbish about the protests being “an attack on socialism”? Let me just say that if the people of Hong Kong do not like the kind of socialism that China is–the sweatshop, child labor, Uyghur genocide, Tibet occupation, neoliberal plunder of Africa, politically repressive, gulag, environmentally reckless, working people living in dog kennels kind of socialism–then they are exactly the kind of socialists that the world needs, especially in contrast to the thugs that lead the Chinese Communist Party. But even if the protesters do not want any kind of socialism, they have a right to protest for that point of view whether Stalinist hacks like Freedom Road Socialists, Max Blumenthal, Ben Norton think they do or not.
Photo of Hong Kong protest today estimated at 1.7 million.

(Photo by Apple Daily)