Critical Perspectives on Hong Kong: A Conversation with Lausan Collective

The unprecedented mass uprising in Hong Kong, now half a year long, has been met with increasingly brutal repression by Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed authorities. 5000 people have been arrested, two young people have been shot, and the Hong Kong police laid siege to a major local university for over a week. A broad “non-compliance” movement has started, including blocking transit systems, to compel a general strike. Local citizens have even launched an effort to collectively unionize across industries in preparation for a longer-term economic war.

Meanwhile, the analysis of Hong Kong from the Western left has been largely overshadowed by Sinophobic voices on the Western right or simply dismissed by leftists who suspect imperialist meddling on the United States’ part. Lost in this are the narratives of Hong Kong leftists, who have played important if little-acknowledged roles in this year’s movement.

What are the sociopolitical conditions that have catalyzed the biggest mass protest Hong Kong has ever seen? What is the unique nature of colonial capital and the relationship between local government, the PRC, business elites, and the city’s workers and migrants? How can we situate Hong Kong’s struggle within a broader internationalist left politics? How can minoritarian subjects in the Hong Kong diaspora critically and responsibly engage with the movement? Join a discussion with two members of Lausan Collective (https://lausan.hk), a group translating and sharing decolonial perspectives in Hong Kong.

SUGGESTED READINGS:
–“Insurgent politics amid Hong Kong’s existential crisis” https://lausan.hk/2019/insurgent-politics-against-the-backdrop-of-hong-kongs-existential-crisis/
–“Hong Kong’s fight for life after neoliberalism” https://lausan.hk/2019/hong-kongs-fight-for-life-after-neoliberalism/

Lausan is a 100% independent and volunteer-run collective of writers, researchers, activists and artists from Hong Kong and its diasporas, engaging with the city’s political struggle. We hope to support the development of an internationalist left coalition that will stand with the people of Hong Kong, and to which Hong Kong people can contribute, too.

Wilfred Chan is a writer based in New York, and an organizer and editor of the Lausan Collective. He previously worked as a journalist in Hong Kong covering the Umbrella Movement. @wilfredchan

JN Chien is writing his dissertation at the University of Southern California on labor, migration, and US nuclear imperialism in the Cold War Pacific. He also writes, researches, and organizes as part of Lausan Collective. @jnchien