On this episode of the It’s Going Down podcast, we speak with Wilfred Chan, a contributing editor in The Nation and a participant in the anti-colonial and anti-capitalist project, Lausan, about the recent uprising in Hong Kong which kicked off in the summer of 2019. The revolt was centered around defeating the proposed (and now recently passed) extradition bill, which would allow the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to bring people to trial for so-called political crimes. As the police attempted to crack down, the brutality of the authorities only helped grow the demonstrations and riots.
During our discussion we cover a lot of ground. From the colonial history of Hong Kong, the past cycles of political struggle, and how anti-capitalist currents fit into the wider protest movement against the extradition bill. We also touch on the role of “tankies” and Western media outlets which have attacked the movement as a CIA fronted operation and discuss the real relationship between the CCP and US government. Finally we talk about what the future may hold, now that the CCP has passed the new national security law and arrests have begun.
The mass revolt in Hong Kong, like others across the world, from the Yellow Vests to #BlackLivesMatter, holds many contradictions and multitudes. It also offers us many lessons and examples of tactical intelligence that social movements and revolts across the world can learn from. At a time when the Trump administration is calling for major cities in the US to be flooded with DHS officers to crack down on “violent anarchists,” the bravery of those on the front lines of the rebellion in Hong Kong presents us with much needed lessons at a time when the stakes are only getting higher.