We talk about the pro-democracy struggle in Hong Kong with Nation and Lausan writer Wilfred Chan. From its history of struggling against British colonialism to its rejection of being China's neoliberal "window to the world," the movement provides many contemporary lessons on the potentitals and contradictions of mass organizing.
But while reactionary elements of the movement are central, it is no use for the left to simply turn its back. Chan's work stakes out its leftwing, translating its most revolutionary aspects for an international audience, and deepening correspondences with other struggles around the world. We move from the particularities of HK to the global economic roots of the struggle, and how its most innovative tactics (like umbrella-shield frontliners and laser-wielding "light mages") have spread to Chile, France, and now the Pacific Northwest. Finally, we discuss the painfully hypocritical deepening tensions between the US and China, and the prospects of World War III.
A couple recent articles by Chan:
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Closing Music: Les Miserables - Do You Hear the People Sing? (2012 film soundtrack)