For the immediate release of leftists, Lu Kun and Zhang Yaoyong • Stop the bans and breaking up of grassroots ‘red song’ concerts
Qian Lixing, chinaworker.info
The Chinese regime has launched a new wave of suppression against the left in China. Several active leftists and Maoists have been arrested and ‘silenced’ by the police and the state apparatuses. Several grassroots ‘red song’ concerts (organised by local pensioners, workers and youth) have been banned and harassed in different provinces. The so-called “communist” (CCP) regime in China severely represses any challenge or opposition both from the left wing or the right wing. It made the CCP’s 90th anniversary more like an irony. Meanwhile, bourgeois liberal sections of the media and liberal groups in China also continue to ignore the repression of the left and Maoists in China. Very little information about the left in China can really be accessed by the outside.
According to information from various channels, Maoists Lu Kun (Online ID: Yu Hong) and Zhang Yaoyong (Online ID: Leiming Tingyu) were arrested by the police in Baoji City, Shanxi Province, and Beijing, the capital of China on 30 July.
Lu and Zhang were both active in an online Maoist group, the ‘Central Committee of Chinese Communist Revolution’, for the last three years. Lu is a computer shop owner in Baoji, and Zhang is an editor of a local press group in Beijing. When Lu made an online conversation with Zhang, he was arrested by eight policemen, who raided his flat and seized his two computers. Zhang was called by the party boss of the press he worked at soon after that, and has “been disappeared” since then.
In the recent period, the Chinese regime has harshly suppressed active and influential leftists and Maoists so as to prevent the spread of left and radical ideas. Many left-wing online groups and web-forums, including Trotskyists and other socialist currents, as well as Maoists, have been blocked and banned.
The regime has also used the iron fist against any activists and activity in the real world (beyond internet). For instance, some leftists, including Hua Qiao, from the so-called ‘Revolutionary Party of China’, who tried to make contact and intervene in the truck drivers strike in Shanghai in April, were immediately arrested and questioned by the police, until now Hua Qiao is still under house arrest.
From 2007 onwards there has been an increase in grassroots-initiated ‘red song’ concerts in different provinces and cities. These grassroots ‘red song’ concerts are usually organised by pensioners, former SOE (state owned enterprises) workers, and young people, who are Maoists or sympathise with the former Maoist regime. The regime only tolerates such ‘red’ manifestations if they are fully under the control of officials and praise, rather than criticise, the current regime. When such events are organised outside the its control, local governments and police will try to ban or break up the concert by themselves or by employing thugs, if they cannot buy off the organisers of the ‘red song’ concerts.
This has happened in several cities such as, Luoyang and Zhengzhou in Henan province, Taiyuan in Shanxi province, Jinan in Shandong province and Xi’an in Shan’xi province. For instance, from 2009, the police in Luoyang have taken away or stolen sound systems and speakers from local ‘red song’ concerts on several occasions. The local government has put at least four active Maoists, such as Wang Xiufeng and Liu Sanying, into ‘education-through-labour’ camps or mental hospitals for half a year to two years respectively, without any formal legal process.
The usual accusation is “violation of social order”. The ‘education-through-labour’ camps and mental hospital are the main facilities used local governments to illegally imprison and punish dissidents and petitioners. Recently, local media has reported that the government in Changzhou city, Jiangsu province, has put three petitioners into the ‘education-through-labour’ camps for one-year terms. The reason is that they rode the bus in Beijing without paying the one yuan bus fare, when they had gone to the capital to appeal their cases in 2009.
The repression of leftists and Maoists by the regime has further exposed the true autocratic face of the regime – a fake communist party. Even some reformist Maoists have desperately commented online, if singing ‘red songs’ cannot change China back to being red, “we have to use our blood to make it red”.
While we do not agree with the Maoists and some other leftist on political program, approach and analysis of the Chinese revolution and state, chinaworker.info and the Marxist supporters of the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI) consistently defend basic democraatic rights and are completely opposed to the regime’s repression, especially against socialists and the left wing. We call for the immediate release of all political prisoners, including Lu Kun and Zhang Yaoyong.
For more information on ‘red song’ concerts read
China: repression or ‘reform’? (http://www.chinaworker.info/en/content/news/1507/?ls-art0=15)