77/ From Hong Kong to Lebanon, Basebuilding Against Authoritarianism (with Promise Li)

This is a conversation with Promise Li. He’s a US-based member of the Lausan collective and the Democratic Socialists of America doing solidarity work with Hong Kong and China’s dissident movements.

Topics Discussed:

  • Growing up in Hong Kong in the shadow of the Tiananmen Square massacre and after the UK-China handover
  • What is Lausan?
  • The difficulties of navigating online discourses on Hong Kong (and Lebanon, Syria etc)
  • Rooting ourselves in democracy
  • Translating Self-Determination
  • Hong Kong’s water revolution (context and history) and how the Chinese Communist Party crushed it, at least for now (the national security law, ongoing crackdown etc)
  • The globalization of the war on terror rhetoric and how ‘anti-imperialist’ governments and parties also use it.
  • How governments and politicians learn from one another (example of Gebran Bassil in Lebanon; Saudi and Palestinian ambassadors to China; Henri Kissinger praising the CCP and vice versa, Chinese cops praising American cops; Hezbollah in Syria)
  • What’s so different about the CCP’s oppression compared to other governments’ authoritarianism, and how western leftists don’t seem to quite grasp that (example of China and Syria)
  • How tankies and others try and think like Xi Jinping or Bashar Al-Assad (and always fail)
  • The multiplicity of places (Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Palestine)
  • Reacting to the camps in Xinjiang
  • Having a specific anger towards people who were oppressed in the past and who now oppress others (Israel, China)
  • Identifying as Hong Konger Chinese, the complicated identities of being both Jewish and Arab, the example of Hindutva and Indian Muslims
  • Being anti-nationalism, and how that intersect in the global south
  • Why opposing Hezbollah must include internationalist solidarity with Syrians, Iraqis, Yemenis and Iranians and not simply appeal to a national rhetoric
  • The importance of including migrant domestic workers in our struggles
  • Linking up Hong Kong with Black Lives Matters
  • Learning from Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement
  • What Black Lives Matter could look like in Lebanon
  • Fighting anti-Asian violence cannot include apologism for the Chinese state

Resources mentioned:

Previous episodes mentioned:

Recommended Books:

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Music by Tarabeat.

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