Monday, October 25, 2010

Free Zhao Dong-min Now ! 108 PLA veterans call for release of Zhao Dong-min ! Democracy and Class Struggle calls on the Chinese State Council to release him immediately

108 PLA veterans denounce Chinese government for jailing worker-Maoist activist

Zhao Dong-min is a lawyer and a member of the Communist Party of China. Before his arrest in August 2009 he worked for many years providing legal services to many workers to resolve issues such as unpaid pensions and loss of other benefits. Zhao also served as the temporary coordinator of the Mao Zedong Thought Study Group in Xian, Shaanxi until his arrest. For more background on his case, see:]

Declaration of the Concerned Group of 108 Veterans of the original 68th Unit and the 23rd Unit of the People's Liberation Army in Da-an City, Jilin Province on matters related to Zhao Dong-min

Any Chinese person who has a conscience and stands for justice knows that what has happened to Zhao Dong-min has gone beyond a single incident. It has become something of political significance in today's China. It has become a test case for us to tell whether the Chinese Communist Party is a real Marxist-Leninist Party or a fake one, whether the government is a real people's government or a fake one, whether the Communists are real ones or fake ones, and whether or not those in the government are actually serving the people.

How this case will be handled will be the turning point to determine whether the Chinese Communist Party understands that it has been on the wrong path and returns to the people, or it continues to cheat, manipulate, oppress people, and to continuingly add more suffering to people, following the road to be the enemy of the people, and collaborating with the imperialist powers in their evil deeds. This is a life and death struggle between the two classes, the proletarian class and the bureaucratic class; the two different positions; and the two different futures.

Everyone knows that the proletarian class is the master of our country and it is the leading class. The Chinese Communist Party is the vanguard of the proletarian class and its true representative. The Chinese Communist Party must be loyal to the proletarian class and it must serve the proletarian class and to protect their legal rights and benefits. The Constitution of China has given the proletarian class its supreme power and status. The protection of our Constitution is the ultimate obligation of the proletarian class, the Party and the government.

However, when lawyer Zhao Dong-min, the proud son of our proletarian class, worked to protect the rights and benefits of the workers, the bureaucratic class and its police and legal authority joined together to oppress him. Zhao was arrested and detained until today. The legal system is supposed to protect workers but it turned around and became the agent of killing the legal rights of the workers, and it also suppressed people's legal rights to appeal.

We have to ask: Is today's Chinese Community Party still the vanguard of the proletariat? Is today's government still the people's government? Is the proletarian class still the master of our country? Why did the Communist Party oppress the workers' representative? Where on earth is this kind of reasoning coming from?

Zhao Dong-min is a fine legal worker. He is very self-disciplined and demands a great deal of himself in carrying out his duties. He has followed the Constitution, the Party Charter, and the union laws in his work to protect the workers. He has worked extremely hard and his work has steadily and effectively protected the rights of the workers. Zhao Dong-min is a loyal representative and reliable friend of workers.

We can say this: Zhao Dong-min's work in protecting the legal rights of workers has made great contributions toward the stability of our society. He has been a good cadre of the Party, a good helper of our government, and a good representative of our workers. He is a rare fighter in the struggle on the legal front. He is indeed the pride of our nation.

However, such a good comrade has been arrested and detained longer than the legal limit allows and was put in the prison of his own Party and of his own government. Zhao Dong-min has suffered this unprecedented attack. His arrest was a fatal blow to his wife and it was too much for her to bear, so while he was still in prison she died with deep regret. Zhao's young son is now without his father or his mother and fell ill. How could all of these injustices have not enraged many people and caused the concern of the whole society and the whole nation!

We are 108 veterans of the original 68th unit and the 23rd unit of the People's Liberation Army. We strongly condemn the legal authority of Xian City, Shaanxi province in their action to illegally detain and to illegally charge Zhao Dong-min. We firmly support Zhao Dong-min. We are old soldiers who joined the army in the 1970s. From the time we were young we were educated and deeply influenced by the teachings of Mao Zedong Thought. Our love for our country and for our people has deeply settled in our bones.

After the Reform we have suffered a great deal and we have been in very difficult situations. We lost our jobs and often we had no place to go. The factories where we worked were sold cheaply to new owners and we lost our legal rights and benefits. Our fate is the same as the fate of the vast majority of the workers, therefore, we especially sympathize and especially are concerned with what will happen to the extraordinary legal worker who protected workers' legal rights - Comrade Zhao Dong-min

Therefore, we solemnly declare to the legal authority of Xian City, Shaanxi Province:

1. With the power bestowed to you by the Party and by the people, please go through this case as soon as possible, and immediately declare Zhao Dong-min innocent and free him. The evidence of this case was falsified and will not be able to stand any interrogation.

2. Any work unit and any individual must obey the Constitution and protect the dignity of the Constitution from being violated. No one can be allowed to attack the democratic rights of the working class. Those who violate workers' rights should be charged and put on trial.

3. The law protects citizens from being illegally harmed and illegally charged.

4. Restore lawyer Zhao Dong-min's reputation. Compensate him for his financial loss and his mental suffering.

5. Severely punish those who were responsible for the false accusations and other illegal actions taken, thus making this case an example for others.

All 108 veterans signed their real names. Among them 58 are unemployed, 13 are workers, a few are peasants, quite a few are cadres, one is the vice-principal of a school, and another one is the vice-principal of a party school. Among the rest, someone works as the vice-chief of an Agricultural Bureau, another is the vice-head of a hospital. Someone works for the Public Security Bureau and another serves as the vice-head of the Xiang government.

China Labour Bulletin, October 22, 2010

A well-know labour activist was sentenced on 20 October to three years in jail for “gathering a crowd to disrupt social order” (聚众扰乱社会秩序罪), according to media reports.

Zhao Dongmin was arrested on 19 August last year after organizing more than 380 workers from about 20 state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to form a labour rights group tasked with overseeing and monitoring SOE restructuring, and reporting corruption and abuses of power.

The Shaanxi Union Rights Defence Representative Congress was formally banned by the municipal government of Xi’an on 27 July, after which Zhao wrote an open letter protesting the action to the State Council, the municipal, provincial and central committees of the Chinese Communist Party. He was arrested 18 days later.

Since his arrest, Zhao’s case has been taken up by an increasingly vocal group of supporters, many of whom share his leftist political views. Zhao was the head of the Shaanxi Mao Zedong Thought Study Group, one of several Maoist groups in China that seek the restoration of a more egalitarian, fair and just society.

More than 50 scholars signed a petition this month stating that Zhao was not only innocent but had performed meritorious service (无罪有功) and that his arrest mocked the rule of law and insulted trade union organizers.

Zhao’s three year sentence is on the upper-end of the scale for labour activists. Unlike a decade ago when five or ten year sentences were not uncommon, the authorities nowadays tend to use threats, harassment and short-term detention rather than criminal trials and prison terms to suppress labour groups and activists. It is perhaps Zhao’s Maoist allegiances therefore that led to his relatively heavy sentence on this occasion.

No comments: