See reading group FB invite here
When the Hong Kong dock workers went on a historic 40 day strike last May, they used the slogan, “All On the Same Ocean” (see video below) to describe their struggle.
They were striking against Li Ka Shing, the owner of Huchinson Whampoa, and the richest man in Asia. Li Ka Shing is also heavily invested in the Alberta Tar Sands extraction and the Keystone pipeline, contributing to the destruction of the planet’s climate and the further colonization of indigenous/ First Nations territories on this continent.
The Chinese capitalists are part of a global alliance of international ruling classes. Their business interests dovetail with those of US corporations, from Walmart to Amazon.com. This global capitalist empire exploits low-wage workers in factories across Asia; it also aims to reduce living standards for exploited and marginalized people here in the U.S. and around the world, through austerity programs and increased state repression.
Instead of uniting with workers across the Pacific to fight this common enemy, the US mainstream labor and environmental movements have often been stuck in old divisions. (see this article: http://www.unionbook.org/profiles/blogs/afl-cio-hosts-anti-chinese-yellow-peril-movie)
Slogans like “the Chinese are stealing our jobs,” to “the US is getting more polluted to help develop China”, cover up the fact that many Chinese workers are not benefiting from these developments. In fact, they are fighting back against their own exploitation and the pollution of the air we all breathe. They should be our allies, not our enemies.
Hong Kong dock workers who recently went on strike in May 2013 to form their union, the Hong Kong Dock Workers Union, will be coming to visit Seattle in the beginning of April. Their visit offers us an opportunity to challenge nationalist, divide and conquer divisions, and to build global networks of class struggle/ social liberation.
To prepare, we are starting a reading group aimed at bringing together folks, especially people of Asian descent and local workers interested in building solidarity with Chinese workers. Hopefully our conversations and discussions can be the beginnings of a grassroots formation that builds with Chinese activists abroad while also addressing local issues.
Below is the reading list. The links are active here:
Pieces will be summarized at the beginning of the session. The aim is to build a supportive group culture that can build off each other’s strengths and support with reading and understanding.
Please email for access to articles at firstname.lastname@example.org
Look forward to learning together!