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THE DEMOCRATIC RESISTANCE OF HONG KONG IN THE TRAP OF A MAIDAN-LIKE PROVOCATION – If localism finally prevails in the democratic resistance. LESSONS FROM THE DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT OF HONG KONG

The following are the introduction and three chapters, translated in English, of a more lengthy article published in October 10 (https://www.oakke.gr/global/2013-02-16-19-23-31/) in the Greek Nea Anatoli (New Sunrise) newspaper of the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist OAKKE party with the title:

THE DEMOCRATIC RESISTANCE OF HONG KONG IN THE TRAP OF A MAIDAN-LIKE PROVOCATION – If localism finally prevails in the democratic resistance

LESSONS FROM THE DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT OF HONG KONG

https://www.oakke.gr/global/2013-02-16-19-23-31/item/1174-

 

The democratic struggle of the heroic people of Hong Kong against Beijing’s fascist regime has entered a new phase from the moment this regime showily deployed thousands of armed men and police forces in Shenzhen, which is the region of China adjacent to Hong Kong, threatening to intervene if necessary to back “the law and order” in the city, which means to suppress the mass resistance movement. At the same time, by exploiting the mistakes and weaknesses of the democratic movement, the fascist Chinese regime has being rapidly indoctrinating the masses in the Chinese mainland, while by exploiting the escalation of vandalism in the metro of Hong Kong, and especially the protesters’ attacks against Chinese enterprises, it has undergone a qualitative change through its Hong Kong puppet government by imposing an emergency measures’ law – enacted by the ex-British colonial regime – according to which the puppets could govern by decrees without passing them through the Parliament (in this case through the Legislative Council). The first such decree was on the punishment of masked persons in demonstrations.

 

The Chinese social-fascists have an interest in postponing for as long as possible a brute intervention of theirs that would politically isolate them globally, but would also isolate their Russian allies, and that in a moment when the international political balance is becoming more and more favorable to both of  them, especially through the presence of the pro-Russia provocateur Trump in the leadership of the US superpower and the rise of their friendly political forces in the EU and, mainly, in the Middle East.

That’s why according to our political analysis their main effort lays in the destruction of the mass character and the diminishment of the political prestige of the democratic movement in front of the Chinese people of the mainland and, mostly, in front of the Hong Kong people, so that they could finally find a footing to use their violence as little as possible by themselves and as much as possible through their agents and friends inside Hong Kong.

To achieve the abovementioned goal, the Chinese social-fascists use the method of provocation, particularly the 2014 Ukrainian method, in which their Russian counterparts have been proven themselves experts in the past. This method roughly consists in the replacement of the broad peaceful antifascist movement by a part of it, a part that mostly emphasizes on the almost war-like conflict with the police; a part that finally could not only absorb the whole open peaceful, and for that all-massive, political struggle, but would also more easily enable the reactionary currents that ethnically divide the oppressed population to prevail within it. In the case of Ukraine, such was the Right Sector. In Hong Kong the equivalent, though much less reactionary, current is the right-wing localism. This one has not yet openly asserted its presence inside the democratic movement. However, judging from the type of violence recently used more and more by the protesters, a violence that assumes the character of an anti-Chinese hatred, which means of a general hatred toward the Chinese citizens, we are concerned that localism might impose its line on the militant protests. If those tactics aren’t stopped by this same democratic movement, then we may have developments of the 2014 Ukrainian type, which means an ethic division and a relatively easily imposed fascist dictatorship in H.K by Beijing’s friends, without the progressive international public, having been undermined by social-fascism, being roused against that dictatorship as much as it ought to.

If a truly liberating movement like the one of Hong Kong is subdued to its mistakes, and even worse to its provocateurs inside it, then the successive all-people’s peaceful demonstrations of millions of people in June and in August, but also the self-denial of the majority of the youth that participate in the clashes with the police and who mostly risk their arrest, will not only remain fruitless but also turn into a political tragedy. Such an arrest could not only unmask and bring them into the clutches of the horrific violence of Beijing if this one were brutally imposed tomorrow on the city; could not only directly expose them into the danger of long prison terms, but could also bring dismissal from their job for, as we’ll see bellow in detail, the Beijing regime has been already using unbearable pressure on enterprises and has achieved the dismissal of people who simply supported the militant protests on their personal websites in the social media. Moreover, although the methods of struggle used by the protesters seem like the ones used by the pro-Russia and pro-China social-fascists in the West, although their outcome doesn’t seem so far to serve objectively the main target of the movement, but to move into the opposite direction, this target passing through the vast majority of the grassroots of the movement is totally progressive: to save the city from the dominance of the world neo-hitlerian monster that has being besieging it.

In essence, we have so far in Hong Kong a form of people’s uprising, despite the fact that the violent forms of struggle by a minority have actually displaced the all-massive peaceful ones. The all-people’s support usually justifies a movement and the Hong Kong protest movement is a just a political movement for all its serious mistakes, its big weaknesses, and its suicidal illusions, because no monster on earth is worse than Beijing’s neo-hitlerians, before whom this movement stands. However, it is not the good intentions or the noble objectives that determine the result of a political movement, but its right political and ideological line. Judging from the actions and the slogans of the movement, we believe that a very erroneous political and ideological line has begun to prevail after August in it; a line more and more becoming what the enemy of the movement would prefer, which means a line of narrow localism with a nationalistic, reactionary profile and with pro-imperialistic illusions. This line, as it doesn’t believe in the millions of the Chinese people but considers them corrupted and enslaved to their really neonazi and racist leaders, pins all hope either on a completely improbable intervention by the West, especially by the US, who if allegedly saw the revolted Hong Kong being slaughtered would intervene at least by launching an economic war on China to save it, or on the hypothesis that as a result of the violent uprising, China would see Hong Kong destroyed and lost as her financial center and her most basic link with the western capital so that she could suffer an economic disaster. This  is the meaning of one of the most central slogans being written on walls by the protesters and addressed to Beijing: “If we burn, you burn with us” which means “as we are determined to die, back down or else you die with us”. Two decades ago, this slogan would have some force. Today it does not have such force because of the more and more decayed western imperialism, which by lacking really people’s democratic movements in its metropolises is showing its most piggish and slimily submissive to the new Hitler stance, would gladly sell Hong Kong to China. It already has sold the torturing Xinjiang or even the more so it has sold to the great China ally, Russia, the leveled Chechnya and Syria, the ethnically cleansed Bosnia and the partitioned Ukraine. As to the economic importance of Hong Kong, 20 years ago the latter produced the 25% of China’s GDP. Now it produces only the 3%. China needs Hong Kong a lot, economically and politically, but not enough to call her fascist almightiness into question in the rest of the country by a movement that is not at all bound to the mainland, and not so much beloved by the international democratic public opinion. That happens mostly because for a couple of months now the democratic movement’s so called radical wing  has been applying the “red”-grey bankrupt forms of violence to fight the “red”-grey fascists.

If one more deeply analyzes the question why the people’s uprising in Hong Kong has been following recently more and more suicidal policy tactics, we think he/she will rather find the reason in the fact that never before has a people’s liberation and antifascist movement stood against such an enormous fascist state near it in such a great international loneliness and with such a lack of proletarian solidarity and Marxist guidance. In such a period we usually see the leadership of grand anti-imperialist movements been undertaken by the semi democratic bourgeoisie. But this bourgeoisie is the last class that can defeat social-fascism. Social-fascism is the imperialistic fascist bourgeoisie that has defeated whole proletarian revolutionary powers (USSR and People’s China) from within by presenting itself to the peoples as a “popular and even a proletarian” force. So it finds it quite easy to erode the compromised bourgeois leaderships of the democratic popular uprisings and to replace them with its lackeys-very often with an ultra-radical face- so as to provoke and lead those movements into defeat and, even worse, to use them, at some point, to crush the real enemies of the fascists.

We are under the impression that this process is in progress in Hong Kong, where the most rightist wing of localism is the political instrument used by the Chinese social-fascism. Localism has been hidden in this period behind the spontaneity and the “holy”, for now, line of the whole movement: “We don’t talk of things that divide us, but only of the five urging demands, that today have mostly to do with the anti-police struggle”, and for that “we don’t talk of parties and strategies, and we never wave party banners”. However, one may discern the presence and influence of the localist current on the methods of struggle, the slogans and the special goals of the movement.

 

The Ukrainian model of provocation against a mass democratic movement is now menacing Hong Kong

 

So we see that Xi’s puppet, Carrie Lam, has so far yielded, in a way, only to the pressure of the violent Hong Kong movement, like did Putin’s puppet, V. Yanukovych, who yielded only to the violent Right-Sector-led Kiev’s movement and not to the bourgeois-democratic parties that directed the rallies of hundreds of thousand people. That is to say, on June 15, Lam initially put the extradition bill on ice only after the outbreak of big clashes between the radical protesters and the police outside the Legislative Council (the parliament of Hong Kong) on June 12, while she didn’t back down at all after the all-peaceful huge demonstration of one million people on June 9. Subsequently, Lam refused to satisfy the demand of the peaceful protesters, who called for the abolition and not just the freeze of the extradition bill, thus mocking two giant peaceful protests which occurred on June 16 and August 18 with participation of 2 and 1.7 million demonstrators respectively. It was only on September 4 that she backed down so as to politically grant the honor of total abolition of the bill to the destructive violent demonstrations that had reached their peak by interrupting transport routes towards the airports, by vandalizing at the metro stations and by causing traffic breakdown (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-49340717?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/cp7r8vglne2t/hong-kong&link_location=live-reporting-story).

We believe that since this second within 2019 and third since 2015 victory of the violent movement against the Chinese fascists, it is objectively the localists that have been mostly strengthened politically, right because it was them who first followed not only in words but mostly in deeds the line of violent confrontation with the government and the police in 2015 and 2016, and because it was them who lead a more generally digestible, that means more  “realistic” anti-Chinese nationalistic line compared to this one of the pandemocrats, for as long as the democratic movement of mainland China is almost absolutely suppressed. The real power of this generally anti-Chinese line (generally in the sense that is also against the Chinese people) lays in the fact that China tried to do in Hong Kong the same as she had previously done in Tibet and Xinjiang, where she transferred a population of Chinese Han from the rest of China in order to change the demographic composition of those regions on a clear colonial manner. There is not a single democrat in Hong Kong who isn’t afraid of such colonization. However, colonization today doesn’t exist as a direct menace to Hong Kong, and the response of the democrats, whenever it occurs, shouldn’t be the attack on the Chinese poor citizens and migrants who are pushed into this role by their leadership, but the struggle against this leadership and the winning over or the neutralization of the settlers, beginning from the more democratic, or even the more so of the travelers from the mainland. Of course we have examples in modern history of anti-colonialist movements under leadership of the nationalistic bourgeoisie that had made the mistake of clashing with the colonists and at that killing them, as did the Algerian anti-colonialist guerrilla in 1960s. However, the Chinese haven’t been such obvious colonialist settlers in Hong Kong so far, because China, unlike the French fascists who had ruled over Algeria, hasn’t ruled over it. But on the other hand Algeria wasn’t a coastal city of France, and therefore the use of violence against the settlers instead of against the Chinese government, army and the security forces wouldn’t be in that case politically suicidal, except of being reactionary. So, the fact that after the victory of September 4 the so called radical demonstrations took the step they had never taken before, to start vandalizing and destroying Chinese shops banks and other enterprises, is according to our political analysis an expression of right-wing localism. These actions unfortunately haven’t been denounced so far by the peaceful movement’s leadership, which is an open leadership that doesn’t claim that the movement it leads is spontaneous. This kind of violence means politically the frontal collusion of the movement with the sentiments of the Chinese people in the mainland, but also with those of the recent migrants from the mainland living in Hong Kong, where along with the pro-Beijing government’s regime constitute the 30% of the population of Hong Kong according to gallops. It is just now that the violent form of this movement has entered its most critical stage, its “Ukrainian” stage.

In Ukraine, it was the open fascists, the declared brute enemies of the Russian people, who began taking violent anti-government and anti-police action, without the political reaction having first struck violently the all-peaceful demonstrations.  So the Russian democratic people and the Russian-speaking democratic population of Ukraine could not, after that, approach the democratic movement. On the contrary, by watching racist-like anti-Russian fascists using violence against a police that received orders from the pro-Russian PM, they started worrying about their safety. This could soon also happen in Hong Kong if the general anti-Chinese sentiment prevails on the movement. 

Even now, the Ukrainian democrats and patriots, for all their majority opposition to pro-hitlerism (an opposition which was later proved at the elections where the Right Sector remained a tiny minority), still believe that the downfall of the Yanukovych pro-Russian gang in 2014 was mostly the result of this violent action and so, instead of feeling marginalized, politically exposed or provoked by these actions, they felt admiration and emotion for the army of violence, not only because it achieved the alleged common objective of both peaceful and violent protesters, but also because it counted many deaths in the clashes with the police, and therefore it appeared as the liberating hero of Ukraine.

However, it has been proved much later, that this kind of liberation, through fascists-led violence, was only superficial. As a matter of fact, it marks the beginning of a new process of enslavement for the country, a process set in motion when the supposedly victorious patriotic violence of the Right Sector reached its peak; that is when, after the downfall of Yanukovych, the Ukrainian Nazi “liberators” burnt hundreds of Russian-speaking fascists who were trapped inside the House of the Trade Unions alive, while the nationalistic current, that had grown generally through the Maidan protests, endorsed the same days a decree that passed in the Ukrainian parliament stipulating the restriction for the usage of the Russian language within the country.  

Those two all-important actions enabled the Kremlin’s neo-hitlerians to denounce the Ukrainian pro-Nazi as the real leaders of the governmental change, which would supposedly impose ethnic-cleansing on the Russian-speaking population, a story that the latter believed. With the help of them, Putin’s Russia managed, this way, for the first time, to deeply divide the Ukrainian population into a Russian-speakers’ and a Ukrainian-speakers’ camp, to terrorize the first of being cleansed by the pro-Nazi, and then to intervene to allegedly save them. In this way she partitioned Ukraine by throwing her into an endless civil war, and finally, she intervened militarily to annex a very big and strategically important part of it, such as Crimea. Besides, the power of Ukraine’s pro-Russian state-oligarchs has remained intact since the 2014 governmental change achieved by the downfall of Yanukovych, right because this change wasn’t deep, that is it wasn’t a real anti-regime change, (as there wasn’t any armed antifascist uprising by the whole people but a coup from above hidden behind the masses and the violent protesters that caused it). Through those latter, the pro-Russian Ukrainian oligarchs have recently raised a friend of them, the pseudo-peace-loving V. Zelensky, into the prime ministerial office of Ukraine.

During all this rich in shifts period, the western imperialists acted with their typical mixture of decadent political blindness, brute anticommunism and opportunistic thick skinned behavior, as they unconditionally supported the pro-Nazi-current-led violence by their attitude, along with the nationalistic measures of the new government. We say “brute anticommunism” because from the time the western liberals decided that nazism was equal to revolutionary communism of Stalin and Mao, they’ve given permission for every movement on earth that opposes communists, including the today pseudo-communists of Russia and China, to breed an active Nazi or fascist ultra-rightist faction inside them. On the other hand, when Russia invaded and partitioned Ukraine they actually accepted the fait accompli, as they didn’t arm Ukraine with the necessary heavy weapons, while they imposed the well-known soft sanctions on a Russia that keeps holding the European monopolists dependant on energy, solely to avoid being exposed in front of their public opinion. It is exactly the same the western monopolists are now doing in Hong Kong, as they, though rightly support the democratic movement against the Chinese fascist leadership, don’t thoroughly and plainly urge it not to disturb relations with the Chinese people. The westerners actually favor unity of the democratic movement with localism because the latter, like every small country’s nationalism, usually clings to a strong imperialism, more preferably to a superpower, in order to win. Still, after choosing the US, the movement has shown joy with the pseudo-nationalist Trump and appeals  especially to him, and not so much to the US in general, with the slogan: “Trump liberate Hong Kong” been held by the helmeted protesters. Typical of this is also the fact that Trump has strongly backed the protests only since the big violent clashes began and not before.

Therefore, so long as localism doesn’t openlyshow off, the valid mass western press doesn’t mention it at all and neither does the press of Beijing, right because they also don’t want to turn the eyes of the international democratic public opinion on this specific current, a process that would raise many questions, but to the whole of the democratic movement. Only some Trotskyites and anarchists, who work inside the movement of Hong Kong and write to influence it, refer to localism in their analyses, by demanding from the movement to mess with the “domestic class enemy” (mostly the Trotskyites), that is the big bourgeoisie of Hong Kong, especially the landowners of housing land, or to hit China along with the US as just another fascist country (mostly the anarchists). One may read from them the quite interesting article referring to the internal to the radical movement processes        https://crimethinc.com/2019/09/20/three-months-of-insurrection-an-anarchist-collective-in-hong-kong-appraises-the-achievements-and-limits-of-the-revolt   ). This is exactly what Beijing is now demanding from the protesters, by telling them that their violence isn’t rooted in their hatred towards impeding Chinese fascism, unlike what they correctly think by themselves, but essentially in the towering rents imposed by the big landlords and contractors of housing land. So they call upon them to demand a bigger share of the rich’s land that belongs to them. This is what Lam’s government has also just demanded. The target of Beijing is to crush the biggest of those landowners, headed by Li Ka-shing, who have not particularly invested in the mainland , but in Hong Kong and abroad. Li Ka-shing has openly sided with the protesters. The high rent is indeed the first material question of the Hong Kong people, who lives in very expensive cages-like apartments, but the question of the most vital importance for them is the impeding Beijing dictatorship.

 

How the spontaneous form allows for political manipulation of a movement in essence

 

The truth is that localism is something different from the Right Sector. The latter is a peculiarity of Ukraine, as the national independence movement has there so much been united with its own historical nationalistic anticommunist currents that it has been allied with the hitlerian invaders against soviet power in WW2 to one degree or another. The fact that democrats like the poisoned by the Russians Ukrainian president V. Yushchenko have included nationalist leaders like Bandera -who before clashing with the hitlerian invaders had initially cooperated with them in 1941- in their national resistance, is mainly due to the fact that after war there emerged the blackest and most repressive great-Russian chauvinism, that went on for 40 years disguised as soviet power, alleviating thus in their eyes (the democrats) the position of the fascist  anticommunists. So, the Ukrainian democrats have allowed the neo-hitlerian Right Sector to pose as patriots. Such phenomena have emerged across the whole ex-USSR and the whole Eastern Europe and will be haunting them for a long time, not allowing for a left-wing proletarian and for that internationalist and thus deeply anti-imperialist anti-neohitlerian movement to rise from within them.

However, in Hong Kong, maybe due to the influence of Maoism, next to the prevailing anticommunist tradition another one also exists. So, the founder of the Democratic Party, Martin Lee, who was removed from leadership by the conciliatory and traitorous more right-wing pandemocrats in 2010 and still the real mentor of consistent pan-democracism, and for that the main recipient of Beijing’s hatred today as denouncer of the latter’s hitlerism, had supported the Cultural Revolution in 1967 and the Tiananmen uprising in 1989. Now he supports the violent forms of struggle too, although he saw the protesters’ invasion into the Legislative Council as a provocation of the police. But generally speaking, the consistent pan-democrats were clearly in conflict with Hong Kong localism when it first emerged into the political scene, and at that, they accused the latter of being secret friends of China, especially over the localists’ opposition to the vigil of June 4. We believe that’s why they don’t trust them and this may be a reason why the localists hide their power behind the spontaneity and the line of unity in the militant movement. The prevailing line on the internet militant forums from the very beginning has been that each fighter should neither openly criticize the mistakes or obstruct the activity of another fighter, nor discuss about the strategy, but talk only about the immediate duties and the already known five demands,* because otherwise there would be multiparty leadership in the movement, and consequently infighting, as was the case in 2014, when the enemy took advantage of the disputes. Such a consensus on pluralism of action may seem liberal but is actually a form of anti-democratism and a certain road to defeat. With such a consensus it’s the most organized, and usually the most reactionary political currents that win because they don’t favor the deep political democratic struggle of the two opposite sides inside every political movement; they want to hide their strategy in words but impose it by the majority they may actually have in some actions, so that the minority be compelled to follow them, while provocation becomes the easiest thing in the world as nobody can denounce it. Localism, being as it is an anti-Tiananmen, that is an antidemocratic current, would be unable to openly lead, at least at the initial stages, not only the broad democratic but even the radical movement, which it tries to win over gradually through exacerbation of violence with no clear strategy, particularly through a devastating type of violence, and basically through the elaboration of the main tactics, action and slogans of the clashes. So far, however, the abundant anonymous interviews of masked young people with the local and international media usually reveal a mood of self-sacrificial resistance to the Chinese fascist monster they are up against, but not an anti-Chinese sentiment. This is why we believe that the most important thing for right-wing localism is not to pass its whole platform into its demonstrations but to focus on a specific point: the need to use greater and greater violence and then extend the targets of this violence.

At this point the basic broad rallying of all militant forces is taking place, and from this point the whole deep strategic line gradually unravels. It is not accidental, as shown by the militant young protesters’ relevant positions: (https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/12/world/asia/hong-kong-protests-communist-party.html), that the most decisive part in their decision to enter the violent current has played a documentary film on Ukraine, ‘Winter on Fire’ by the western liberal Netflix, a film widely spread among the youth circles before the incidents and still even more widely being spread now. In the film the tactics of violence are shown as the fundamental link in the “victorious” path of the 2014 Ukrainian uprising, and the role of the pro-Nazi that terrorized the Russian-speaking population has been concealed, while, mostly, there has been concealed the subsequent great defeat of the Ukrainian democratic movement of national independence with the shift of the Russian-speaking population to Russia for protection with the known effects. Moreover, the great influence of the Ukrainian movement on the one of Hong Kong has been captured in the “Glory to Hong Kong” slogan, that became the hymn of the movement and which is a transfer of the 2013-14 Ukrainian movement’s “Glory to Ukraine” main slogan, a revival of the classic Ukrainian nationalistic slogan.

In Hong Kong, as well as in Ukraine, the violent trend of the movement assert their right to attack the police because of the objective fact that the latter defended the government and also generally state buildings from the powerful protests by using disproportionate cruelty. From then on, the movement thought its right to respond till final escalation, which in Ukraine led to loss of life of many protesters and some policemen. Besides, in Hong Kong as well as in Ukraine, the leadership and grassroots of the wide peaceful democratic movement has supported the violent form of struggle till the end, and at that they were eager to follow it in each escalation of the conflict. The support by the grassroots initially arose from the fact that both Yanukovych’s and Lam’s governments were undeniably the enemy’s tools that were gradually curtailing the constitutional freedoms of the people and flashily mocked its unanimous will, which was initially expressed in mass peaceful forms. But mostly it was due to the fact that the pro-Russia and pro-China governments respectively retreated and dealt a winning hand virtually only to the violent forms and not to the peaceful ones, thus making the latter useless. If this is combined with the fact that those who offer the victims in the common struggle are not the peaceful but the violent protesters, then it’s the latter that are automatically recognized as the leadership of the struggle by the democratic masses. The combination of both forms could also, under certain circumstances, occur in a real national liberation struggle (e.g. the Greek national resistance in WW2) but violence is there mainly of a war type, which means that the one side of the belligerent forces obviously exterminates the other by claiming the state authority, and so the people’s revolution doesn’t lay in these cases behind the peaceful ones by demanding legalization and immunity for the violent branch of the movement, as is now happening in Hong Kong. That is why It’s mostly the modern grey-“red” fascist movements, who are strategically pro-Russia and pro-China that widely conduct such internally contradictory and in fact hypocritical struggles in the bourgeois democracies, so as to present those democracies as fascisms, to politically weaken the democratically elected governments, to seize posts within the bourgeois state and finally to raise their own not only bourgeois but also fascist party factions into the government. That’s what the Greek “Indignant” and SYRIZA movements have done in Greece, the Podemos movement in Spain, the “Yellow Jackets” movement in France, and what all their black block allies in Europe objectively are attempting to do. Such movements don’t exist in the really fascist countries, where the police carry shields against unarmed protesters only when it wants to pose as democratic, as e.g. in Russia, where not even clashes of low level violence are permitted. In the overtly fascist countries, as in mainland China, there is no real, which means functional reason for the use of shields or Molotov bombs, because, unlike what happens in the bourgeois democratic countries, no institutionalized clash with the aim of venting the anger of the oppressed and exploited masses with the minimum bloodshed caused by confrontation with rods, plastic shields and thrown little fires – in the case of the really progressive movements – can take place there. On the contrary, in the overtly fascist countries there are only prisons, torture chambers, and executions, so that there only heroes dare to hold peaceful and also usually massless protests. In those countries revolution is expressed either as a peaceful demonstration being dealt with extremely violently or as an overt revolutionary war caused by this unprovoked violence. In countries the fascist governments of which are compelled to put on a somehow democratic face, for either internal or international reasons, or in countries or cities, such as Hong Kong, threatened with fascist occupation, but still democratic, a profound and ripe democratic movement is obliged to emphasize the peaceful forms and escalate with prolonged strikes or sit-ins that damage the prestige of the governments but also do not hinder the activities of the masses as far as that is possible. Such movements, combined with international campaigns of popular information and the policy of wide democratic antifascist fronts, make it difficult for the fascists to march and compel them to either finally back away or answer with the maximum of open violence, thus deeply exposing them politically. In that case, the movements could enhance their mass participation and status and even give an armed response, so long as the necessary domestic and international conditions for that are met. 

This step by step process of revealing the necessity of violence hasn’t taken place in Hong Kong, especially from the time the violence of the movement, instead of escalating only in the typical clashes with the police, which could lay a somehow convincing basis for it, especially as the police got more and more violent, it extended to clashes with the public at the airport, to vandalism at the metro stations, and finally to assaults into malls and the destruction of shops. At the same time, and as the violent form objectively prevailed over the peaceful one, which had a certain open leadership, the movement was entering the deepest waters of political confrontation with an hyper-centralized military big power facing a lack of leadership but also the existence of a supposed spontaneity unable to follow centralized and democratic procedures in illegality, unlike what they would do if they were adequately centrally and also democratically organized. In other words, they went on taking decisions through anonymous mass debates on the internet, basically on a website (LIGHK), where not only they but also the operators are anonymous for reasons of protection from the police. However, the model of fake internet assemblies with anonymous participants unknown to each other and with an unknown, actual chairman of the internet assembly, which finally decides an action with masks against a superpower, sets the ground for the final dominance of the worst hidden party factions and the most unobstructed provocateurs in the service of the main enemy, Beijing leadership, inside the movement.

As we have learnt in our country Greece, mostly from the chameleon and super-factionalist SYRIZA’s movement of the “Indignants”, which was born on the internet, no mass movement could be so much manipulated by its leaders, by parties or party factions as the one lacking collective organs of elected representatives of the various fields or of the main political trends of the movement, namely  organs that would meet among them, take decisions, elect people responsible for the implementation of those decisions and accountable to a more or less concrete centralized collective or locally collective body, regardless of whether it is legal or illegal in state terms. The internet modernizes democracy but doesn’t abolish it. That’s why the “Indignants” of Athens in 2012 have become the pattern for all antidemocratic movements in the West, movements also joined by fascists and so-called “reds”, all with no banners or leaders, without being seen and exposed to their grassroots for this unholy top political alliance between them.

Those so-called spontaneous forms could hide the cadres and leaders from the grassroots of the movements (although hardly any of the off-line activists from the state security) for a long time, but they cannot hide the profound political and ideological currents that lay inside them, for they are necessarily manifested in every political conflict, either violent or not.

So we claim that the localists had more than anyone an interest in raising the colonial flag of Hong Kong as the central banner of the movement in the main chamber of the Legislative Council, that is the parliament of Hong Kong, on July 31. Then the protesters occupied and gravely vandalized the building without being stopped by the police for 6 whole hours, during which they were destroying the many entrances of the building, one after another. Only such a movement could also irritate with pleasure instead of winning over the vast majority of the Chinese people, especially those living in Hong Kong, by showily tattering and throwing into the sea the Chinese national flag, instead of e.g. the portrait of hitler Xi, as would do a more internationalist antifascist movement. Whether the friction over the national symbol could simply mean resistance to the Chinese government and the pseudo-Communist party that oppresses them, as is the case in many anti-imperialist movements, or to the people of the country, was straightened out in their attacks of the last phase against Chinese shops and enterprises.

That’s why history is not written by the intentions of the grassroots of a movement but by its political and ideological line.

 

How the fascists of Hong Kong capitalize the mistakes of the movement for as long as its leadership refuses to correct them

 

So, Beijing’s propaganda has concealed the peaceful amazingly massive mobilizations of millions of people against its obedient government of Hong Kong from the Chinese people so far, and shows exclusively the violent, and at that preferably the localism-flavored ones, where the protesters have been at odds with the mood of a large part of the population of Hong Kong and even more so of the Chinese mainland, even before the attacks on the shops. Such mobilizations were particularly those recently accompanied by vandalism against Chinese enterprises, or the August ones where protesters beat and took journalists of Chinese state-owned newspapers as hostages while at the same time they prevented the travelers from flying at the last minute and were involved in recriminations with them at the airports, or the ones where they blocked the passengers from moving in the metro and caused great destruction at the stations. Beijing, of course, shows with the highest emphasis the violent protests raising the British colonial flag of Hong Kong and tattering the Chinese national flag, or the masked and helmeted protesters waving American flags and calling especially upon the fascist Trump (namely at the 9/8 rally) to liberate Hong Kong, which would mean to make war with China, on TV.

With all those incidents, although before the outbreak of the violent demonstrations there was no special opposition of the Chinese mainland people to the democratic movement of Hong Kong insofar as they were familiar with it, there is such an opposition today, founded on the, easily cultivated by the social-fascist propaganda, belief that the movement of Hong Kong is violent because it’s a creation of the US and serves as their pretext for an alleged invasion for the dismemberment of China.  

In this way the social-fascists of Beijing managed to overwhelmingly cement, according to many reports, the Chinese public opinion and even the Chinese settlers living in democratic countries, where it’s much easier for them to learn what happens in the world and in their country and for that they value political democracy that prevails in those countries compared with the Chinese fascist dictatorship. So it’s easier than ever before for the organized fascists of Beijing, at least in this scale, to bully students from Hong Kong who mainly study in countries like Australia, New Zealand and Canada in front of cameras, and who dare to demonstrate in solidarity with the democratic movement in spite of the Chinese government’s spies that keep watching and personally threatening them online, and in spite of the governments of those countries, and especially the university authorities, which leave them unprotected as they kneel before the Chinese money that flows in their colleges. Now even in Hong Kong, for the first time in 20 years of democratic struggles, the friends of Beijing have taken to the streets emboldened enough to demonstrate in favor of the government and the police, while groups of bullies from amongst them have been already fighting with the demonstrators and intervening in favor of the police on the clashes between each other.

Moreover, under the pretext of the destruction caused by the violent demonstrations and the signs of a sentiment against the Chinese people, the Beijing social-fascists have managed, for the first time since the incorporation of Hong Kong, to terrorize the employees of big companies, either private or state-owned, domestic or foreign ones, and especially those companies that have a big stake in the Chinese market, as most of them already do, by threatening them with economic retaliation unless they “disciplined” their employees who defended the violent protests even on their personal websites. And those companies toe the line like worms, resulting in the falling of a terrorizing hush, unprecedented in the recent history of Hong Kong, over the workers in the big companies the most of which are dependent on the Chinese market.

Beijing’s blackmail and the employers’ bowing to it became exemplary in the case of Cathay Pacific, the international airway giant of Hong Kong, while this is all-typical of the political and class weakness of the movement, not to mention the possibility of having its leadership eroded by the enemy. So, after the August incidents at the Hong Kong airport and on Beijing’s plain request, Cathay fired her previous top managers, replaced them with friends of Beijing and, even worse, fired the trade union cadres that had led a pronounced solidarity strike within the bounds of peaceful acts of the struggle.

Those strikers became politically exposed, initially from the movement’s radical trend, when, after the end of the August general strike, the latter suddenly turned a sit-in at the airport into occupation of the airport, cancellations of flights, into clashes with the passengers, and the abovementioned acts of violence. On top of it, the leadership of the democratic movement has left the fired strikers of Cathay Pacific defenseless to fall into the clutches of Beijing’s fascists. It neither organized any mass peaceful central protest to demand their reemployment, as ought to have done, nor included this serious demand in the initial five basic demands as a precondition for the defense of the Hong Kong workers against the Chinese political terror (white terror as called by the democrats), an action that would enable their mass participation in this movement, especially their participation in political strikes, which are of course impossible to be carried out with masks. This reveals the class character of the movement’s whole leadership, and by this we also refer to the named leadership of the peaceful demonstrations.   

Still, it is inexplicable, at least for us who watch the developments from afar, that the leadership of the peaceful democratic movement hasn’t yet declared Beijing’s plant, PM Lam, as the direct main people’s enemy and doesn’t yet demand her resignation, as it had initially done, while she remains the choice of Beijing having imposed all its dirty measures and blackmail and being responsible for police brutality. This absence leaves as many questions unanswered as the movement has declared the police, the executive body of Lam’s policy, its main enemy. But after the postwar strategic defeat of the British colonialism, this body functioned on bourgeois-democratic terms, like every western police, and in this sense it was closer to the domestic bourgeoisie and the West than to Beijing, while now it is moving towards the right opposite direction, which is the best material gain for Beijing at the level of political power in Hong Kong. This happens not basically because the police directly clashes with protesters but because the protesters have made the serious for a democratic movement mistake and objective provocation to gather in front of houses of policemen and throw stones or insult online, or insult and threaten relatives of the policemen. Such practices have pushed the police a lot faster into the embrace of Beijing, as the Chinese TV has been systematically praising them, during all this period, as great patriots and heroes (https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3027311/hong-kong-police-officer-who-pointed-shotgun-protesters) for those clashes with the “pro-colonialist, pro-western mob”, while Beijing has been organizing demonstrations of solidarity with them both in China and Hong Kong. So, China is beginning to have a repression mechanism, which means a police force, in a city where she never had any. The most blatant proof of this is the fact that, at the beginning of the clashes, the leadership declared that there is no evidence to justify Beijing’s claims that the violent protesters were directed from abroad. But Lam’s government has recently appointed a retired ex-head of the body as its deputy chief in charge of the crackdown on the demonstrations, a person that had distinguished himself by his cruelty in the repression of the 2016 mass protests. He recently told the policemen that the attack on them by the protesters was due to a great conspiracy, clearly insinuating the West.

In essence, the biggest problem for the democratic movement of Hong Kong is, as had previously been for the one in Ukraine, that the leadership that organized the huge peaceful protests of June and August, the Civic and Human Rights Front (CHRF), in which the democratic political currents, the catholic church, and human rights organizations take part, so far agrees with the violent tactics regardless of the targets being hit and the methods being followed, but thinks that this method perfectly complements the peaceful one. At that, when the protesters who took part in the sit-in at the airport on August, started worrying about the brutality that had brought them into conflict with the passengers and the city’s public opinion, and apologized in front of the passengers with a banner the next day, while an all-round debate had started over the transition to peaceful forms of struggle, the CHRF leadership announced that the peaceful movement should be strongly united with the violent protesters as the aim was common, and at that it declared that the latter were the bravest “as they do what the peaceful protesters are incapable of doing”.

The continuation of the mistakes by the democratic movement of Hong Kong explains why, in our opinion, Beijing wants Lam to do nothing to stop the uproar, which means it neither pushes her to timely fulfill the protesters’ demands in the peaceful or non-peaceful demonstrations, nor wants her to clearly state that she won’t give in to any of those. That’s why it keeps welcoming her actions until she’s being thrown in the trash when it will be the time for Beijing to show its determination. So we see that only after 3 months of rioting did Lam take the trouble to fulfill the protesters’ main demand: the one on the withdrawal of the extradition bill. Lately, she’s been dropping hints that she could fulfill the initially second but today first demand, which is the independent inquiry on police brutality, also requested, right on this moment, by the UN through its commission on human rights without China making a big deal about it in the UN. This way she’s been winking at the protesters to continue by not only refusing to fulfill their demand but also exacerbating police brutality and increasing the arrests with the law on masks. This is all-evident in the prolongation of rioting, the political dead-end and the economic damage resulting from them so far, and it’s exactly what Beijing wants in this phase, first in order to expose the democratic movement to the broad masses, second in order to strengthen the Chinese social-fascists in the city, in the mainland and globally, third, in order to crush the portions of the big bourgeoisie that more or less resist it and have sided with the protesters, and fourth, and most important, in order to use through all the above its great violence in Hong Kong, either directly or through its puppets. This kind of violence would bring “social peace, the law and order” and won’t be the one of clashes with shields and helmets. It would be the terrorist dictatorship that China of the experienced and treacherous neo-hitlerians wants to prepare and organize under the best possible conditions.

The only way of reversing such a strategy is for the movement to seek ways to criticize the wrong positions and actions inside it and to be more tightly linked to the masses of Hong Kong, to embrace the most democratic and most progressive ideas in China as well as the whole international democratic public opinion, something it hasn’t done so far. This negative reality is temporarily being hidden behind a relative euphoria of the democrats, based on the puppet government’s decision to give in to the demand on the extradition of detainees in the mainland. That’s why, for the time being, an impressive correction of the movement’s path doesn’t seem to be imminent.                                                                                                 

 

* the five demands are: a) withdrawal of the bill on the extradition in China of the accused of crimes perpetrated in Hong Kong, a demand that was satisfied by the government, b) inquiry by an independent organism on the violence used by the police of Hong Kong, c) retracting of the legal classification of militant protests as a riot, d) amnesty for all accused in the protests and e) establishment of an election system for the Legislative Council (the parliament of Hong Kong) so that a vote’s a vote.

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