Free the five Chinese feminists

Five Chinese feminists - Apr 9 2015

Mao Tse Tung had a lot to say about contradictions because if there was ever a regime that embodied them, it was his. He wrote often on the “correct handling of contradictions among the people” & counseled the method of democratic discussion & persuasion rather than coercion & repression–though he found harsh repression irrisistible when persuasion didn’t work.

And speaking of contradictions, the present Chinese regime is jockeying to create a balance between their autocratic form of socialism & the imperatives of neoliberal capitalism–a sui generis system that isn’t working out any better in mainland China than in Hong Kong–especially for democracy.

There’s no need to wallow in contradictions to honor Mao, but China & the UN will co-host a global women’s summit to promote gender equality & empowerment in September at the UN headquarters in NYC. The invitations are jointly signed by Chinese president Xi Jinping & Ban Ki-Moon, who will both be attendant. This was announced at the UN on March 9th by a leading Chinese woman official the day after International Women’s Day.

Now here’s the double whammy of those contradictions: on March 6th, China arrested five feminist activists named Wu Rongrong, Wei Tingting, Li Tingting, Wang Man, & Zheng Churan on suspicion of “picking quarrels & provoking trouble” for organizing an International Women’s Day action against sexual harassment on public transportation. They were all activists in campaigns against sexual harassment, domestic violence, LGBT rights, disability rights, & employment discrimination.

Their lawyers say they have not been allowed to speak with their clients who are now being held over the legal time limit for criminal detention without formal charges. The arrests are part of a general crackdown & censorship in China against human rights & democracy activists & some are concerned the women will be disappeared into prolonged extrajudicial detention in China’s gulag. That’s one way of resolving contradictions.

International pressure must be put on China to immediately release the five activists. To render solidarity, protest actions have been called at Chinese embassies & consulates on April 11th & 12th (at any hour before 12:00 am April 13th, Beijing time) demanding the release of the feminists now. Those unable to participate can like & share this FB wall:

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