Yesterday, I was contacted by a doctoral student at an American university with an appeal for solidarity with groups of Chinese university students whose efforts to assist workers to unionize are being repressed by the Chinese government. He provided two links to news stories, here and here. The gist of the matter can be gathered from this passage from one of the stories:
“Fear is sweeping through the campuses of China's elite universities following a nationwide government crackdown aimed at silencing left-wing student activists, who had been campaigning for greater rights and protections for ordinary workers.
Since August at least nine young Chinese labor advocates have been forcibly detained in major cities across the country, a sharp escalation in Beijing's campaign against student activism on university campuses.
"The whole of Peking University is like under the white terror now, (the security guards) will come after you even if you were just at the scene where the student activists were distributing leaflets," a student at the prestigious Peking University told CNN Tuesday.”
I was asked to provide a statement of support, which I will of course do, to speak out against this repression, which I am doing here, to boycott any future World Congresses on Marxism organized by the Chinese government [no problem there, I would never be invited], and most importantly, to spread the word, which I hope I am doing by this post.
I cannot say I am surprised by these actions by the Chinese government. Right here at home, good old Columbia University is fighting graduate student organizing tooth and nail [I shall take part in a panel discussion next Tuesday organized by the student union.] By the way, one of Columbia’s “Global Centers” is located in Beijing. They probably feel right at home there.