Right now, the Chinese state is conducting industrial-scale persecution against the Uyghur people and other minorities.
It is detaining one to two million in internment camps for “re-education”. Those not behind bars face a regime of racist violence, curtailed political freedoms and repression of religious and cultural expression (the Uyghurs are majority-Muslim). Children are separated from families and entire communities subjected to all-encompassing surveillance.
The Uyghur people are the largest national group in the north-western province officially named “Xinjiang” but known to the Uyghurs as East Turkestan. Much like many Western governments, the Chinese state tries to paint its attacks on this majority-Muslim group as a “War on Terror”. But in reality, it sees dissent, “disloyalty” and desires for autonomy in East Turkestan as a threat to its economic plans – the region is a major fossil fuel producer and a key trade route into central Asian and Middle Eastern markets.
In the long tradition of trade union international solidarity, Camden UNISON members have been supporting monthly solidarity protests at the Chinese embassy since November. We are taking a stand alongside members of London’s Uyghur community and other Chinese dissidents, as well as fellow unions, human rights groups, Labour MPs and other supporters.
The budding Uyghur Solidarity Campaign is hoping to grow the demonstrations, and hopefully branch out into more activities – for instance, protesting businesses that profit from the forced labour of interned Uyghur workers.
Please join us at 6pm on the 5th day of every month at the Chinese embassy on Portland Place, and help spread the word. Contact Ben via firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to come with us.