WHEREAS, millions, of courageous protesters have taken to the streets of Hong Kong in what may be the biggest series of demonstrations since Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997; and
WHEREAS, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government has a dwindling tolerance for dissent; despite this, protesters have braved police batons, rubber bullets, and tear gas in demonstrations showing that nothing less than the future of their city is at stake; and
WHEREAS, on the surface, the protests concern a proposed law affecting extradition; in reality, the law, if enacted, would mark a disastrous turn, since anyone—activists, labour organizers, journalists—could not escape from the fear to be subject to sudden extradition to mainland China, where those who displease the ruling party have little chance for a fair trial.
WHEREAS, 22,000 people attended an education sector-led rally on August 16 in Hong Kong to urge the Hong Kong government to respond to the five demands central to the past two months of protest:
- complete withdrawal of the extradition bill;
- retraction of the characterization of the June 12 clash as a riot;
- cancellation of all charges against protesters in the siege;
- an independent inquiry to investigate police use of force; and
- implement universal suffrage immediately; and
WHEREAS, the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions has declared, “As workers, Hong Kong is the home to our careers, families, loved ones, and livelihood. We do not want to see the collapse and demise of Hong Kong. It is our responsibilities to protect this home of ours. We saw the children of Hong Kong were brave enough to take to the streets but were brutally dealt with by the police. We can no longer close our eyes to the situation. Hong Kong belongs to all of us and cannot be controlled and destroyed by the hands of a few”.
RESOLVED, that the Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions affirm solidarity with the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement; and
RESOLVED, that the recent disturbances in the streets of Hong Kong must not be used as pretext for what could be a catastrophic crackdown by the People’s Liberation Army.