Lausan: Hong Kong Uprisings Explained

As strikes in Hong Kong push into their 15th week, brave comrades continue to defy rule and take to the streets, as The Guardian reports:

Hundreds of anti-government protesters in masks and all-black outfits were also marching in Tin Shui Wai, a neighbourhood in Hong Kong’s New Territories, defying a police ban on the planned event. Bus lines to the area were shut, as riot police faced off against protesters who blocked roads and built barricades on the streets, paralysing traffic.

Lausan, a collective of writers and translators with a spiffy website, aim to “build solidarity on the international left with Hong Kongers’ unfinished fight to imagine emancipatory futures after colonialism, against both Chinese and Western imperialism.”

“‘San’ 傘 is the character for umbrella, referencing our critical engagement with Hong Kong’s ongoing movements for self-determination, including the 2014 Umbrella Movement. 流傘 is also a homophone of 流散 (diaspora/dispersal), which speaks to our location across the Hong Kong diaspora and our ambition to connect Hong Kongers’ struggles against capital, colonialism, and state power with unfolding histories of resistance around the world.”

Up on the site are in-depth articles ranging from an anti-capitalist explainer of the protests, to pieces looking at how the strikes impact and involve migrant workers and sex workers, as well as a back to school reading guide for those of us who need to get caught up on the history of struggle in Hong Kong.

Many of the articles featured on Lausan have been published elsewhere, and offer smart and urgent analysis in these times. Here’s a short excerpt of a piece that provides food for thought on the role of US and UK left solidarity with the HK uprisings:

…it is imperative that the international left work with Hong Kongers to form a new analysis that does not simply transpose regurgitated Western frameworks onto Hong Kong’s condition, but dares to reimagine an anti-capitalist, anti-authoritarian politics of survival from the perspective of this in-between place.

To do so would require remaking the world. This kind of solidarity from American leftists would include disestablishing the United States’ key role—from the Marshall Plan through the Washington Consensus and beyond—in creating and maintaining a postwar geopolitical system that has intentionally overridden the aspirations of Third World self-determination with the logic of global neoliberalism. British leftists can start by demanding their government take responsibility for the damage wrought by their former colonial systems, which have become potent tools of extraction and oppression in the hands of the new authoritarians.

So, when you need a break from coverage of the democratic primary (ugh, please, make it stop already), check out Lausan’s website, follow them on facebook or twitter, to read and connect with voices on the front lines of a nearly four month revolt.