Friday, December 30, 2005

Interview on KPFT-Houston

Colin was interviewed by Lilian Care,
Progressive Forum, KPFT Houston
90.1 FM
Thursday, December 29, 2005
8:00 pm [1 hour into the program]

Listen to the interview.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Coverage of Dec 23 event

星島Sing Tao
世界日報 World Journal
明報 Ming Pao

Friday, December 23, 2005

More photos









videos & fotos in retrospect


two delegation members talk about getting pepper sprayed, Dec 14. Below, S holds a sign that was pepper sprayed and shielded her.



Videos:

Alex (CPA) at ILPS / Migrante International action in front of US Consulate General, D14

Korean drummers in Via Campesina area D17

late night at the barricades D17

last day march D18

Support from a 92-year old Hong Kong resident

This is a letter Wayie's 92-year old 叔公 wrote supporting our actions in HK:


Rough translation:

Estimado Sr/a.

This times young people's activities in Hong Kong is extremely just and are very good actions, for a righteous cause. This is one type of education that you cannot get in schools or by studying, but through experience. Please support them (and don't scold them)!

Hong Kong is a progressive city, I invite you to come and see when you have time.

Much respect.
Long Life!
Hasta la victoria!

Now that's love.

Reportback: SF Solidarity Action

thanks to everyone who came out early this morning to support the 14 protesters in the HK jails. And thanks to all the organizers!

The 14 have been released on bail. Trial next week, Dec. 30. They have to report daily to .. the courthouse? The Taiwanese student, apparently, was released on $100,000 so he could go take his exams back at Taiwan National University.

More details and first-person reports at out folks who are still in HK:

CAAAV's (NYC) blog: http://wtocaaav.blogspot.com and
KEEP (LA) delegation's blog http://notowto.blogspot.com

Our action in front of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office this morning was mc'd by Liz Suk and Leon (CPA), Colin (NNIRR), me (CJWP), David (SEIU / Transit Workers) and Kyung Jin (KEEP / KPL) spoke. About 30 people attended.

Also present were reporters from KTSF 26 (or was it KTVU?), KPFA, Ming Pao, Sing Tao, World Journal, and guo yu (國語)TV. So keep on the lookout for the reports in the papers tomorrow and in the news tonight (Mandarin and Chinese).

Two representatives of the office came down and accepted our letter (to Doris Cheung). They said that they did not really have an official statement as the charges are being looked into and pending the hearing next week.

Derek Chung of CJWP took pictures, so we'll probably have some up before too long.

Solidarity actions were also held today in Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, LA, and SF.

團結是力量!Peace.

Action Alert - Free the WTO 14 - SF, Friday Dec 23, 9 am

International Action
Free the 14 people still Detained in Hong Kong !!!



What: Press Conference and RALLY!!!

When: Friday, December 23, 2005, 9:00am

Where: Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office
130 Montgomery St., San Francisco (off the Montgomery BART stop)

Why: Last week, over 1,300 people were detained and their human rights violated by the Hong Kong police. Over 900 were farmers from South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, and Philippines .

Currently, fourteen persons are still locked up illegally without any specific charges from the Hong Kong police.

During the WTO's 6 th Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong, over 10,000 people from all over the world gathered to oppose international policies that would move families deeper into poverty. Specifically, the WTO's negotiations over controlling agricultural and service markets have created strong protest from workers, farmers, and women.

Who: Organizers and participants include Bay Area activists who joined the protests in Hong Kong .

Please come out to join folks all over the world in calling for the release of those who are unjustly detained! There are actions and protests all over the U.S. as well as Hong Kong , South Korea, and Philippines ! AA

Thursday, December 22, 2005

CPA Alex Tom and Natalie on Pacific Time (KQED)

Coverage of our delegation in the Guardian

Birjinder (Bay Area) and Kimi Lee (LA) were interviewed in the UK Guardian:
Guardian article

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

ya llego ...


a vancouver.

waiting in the airport to get back to SF.

CPA folks in Shen Zhen and guang zhou. B & E back in O'town. I wish I could have gone with them to the other side, but was grateful for the days with my cousins and the days with my CJWP crew. We needed time to process the challenges of API movement building and of the last several days, and some time to build with each other. To meet David Wong and kick it. Folks is family to me. Teasing, talking smack, eating, challenging each other. Aaaaahhhh

Movement building cannot be limited to the sphere of 501(c)3s, from an international perspective, froma functional / utilitarian perspective, from an ideological and from a community building & organizing perspective, from my experience.

This comes from a great love for all my people, our people.

This morning as we walked outside of our hostel in Jordan, some young folks from a local film school were shooting a film. W started walking backwards so as not to get in the way and the look on her face gave me a flashback to the night on the bridge. Later on, after jook, going to make copies of this letter, I have another flashback, this time of all the cameras the whole time we were in the streets, in the park, all the cameras, videos, mikes everywhere, the whole time ... yet what makes it out is so uniform ....

Long convo -- now it is a liability for any city to host the WTO. At least we did that, and I have a satisfactory answer for my cousin and auntie. But also, it is about all of us being able to build with each other. I had forgotten that people from outside the US don't know about our struggles on the inside. We have a lot to learn in general about struggle and discipline, though I forget that cuz I study so much in school and as a consultant I have to have the discipline to get my shit done, and aas someone new in the field, it can't be janky. it's too competitive all out there.

But also it's important to celebrate ourselves, our vitality, our creativity, in all its forms, to build -- the Indonesian journalist, the Honduran farmer I met, the Taiwanese cooperative organic farmers, the Chinese-British journalist, the workers in the various organizations, the HK student organizations. My cousin gets that I have a set of beliefs that they generally agree with, but I back it up in my actions, in my life choices, career choices. He backs me up to the uncles and aunties, and they pass it on to my parents. These long chains, unpredictable, also give me hope for movement building, becauase I see allies everywhere, unexpected. Queer family members who support and inspire. Capitalist famly members whose stories teach me humility in a same but different way than the farmers who are willing-to-die. My mother thinks I exaggerate when I say these policies have killed people.

When we ask the question, what are the police portecting? the answer is so unsatisfactory. they were there to protect the right of corporations to make rules about human rights, the environment, labor protection, to circumvent so-called state processes, as imperfect as they are. Marcos' Fourth World War, the Fourth World .. ah, my friends, our contradictions. For instance, one of our chants uses the Third World as a rubric. In honor of Third World Women's Movements in the US, who recognized international solidarity as a major foundational building block, for the Third World movement of the time, it was a major intervention in the otherwise US focused movements of the 1960s 1970s. Were those within it not critical of the term Third World? No, but the term also recognizes the reality in global politics of the Global South. Imperfect term, but we as movements have always reclaimed and reinvented terms to also become markers of resistance and pride. Why not again? Why not take terms with their dominant hegemonic meanings and turn them on their heads?

That is the creativity I wish for our people.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Families and ...

Yesterday we met with one of our delegation's grand-uncle. He's 92! And his wife. He is an educator from Chow Zhou but has been living in Hong Kong for a really long time. He founded a school in the outskirts of Hong Kong back in the 60s or so, and was one of the first schools, along with 2 others, who wanted to teach anti-colonialist histories of Hong Kong and China -- that is, the real histories. They had such support when they raised the red flag over the school, in colonial Hong Kong, that people came and supported the school teachers and administrators against the Hong Kong government. He said that he supports us young people out there in the streets. I wonder if that's why W is also an educator. Sometimes these things run in families. He also reminded us: there are many kinds of education. One kind is the kind you get from book learnings -- he references Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Engels and Mao. The other kind is experiential. You learn by doing, by being there. What we were doing, from his point of view, is part of that learning process, in the streets, in Hong Kong.

More on meeting my family and their reactions to why I am here this time.

But I gotta go get on my plane now.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Heading out tomorrow

long ass flights

the craziness is mostly over. now we just have to support the people who were kept detained (900 arrested and detained, the let all the women out first, and then they let out most of the men except for 14, who they are rying to charge and hold accountable for unlawful assembly, etc.)

got to see my family -- auntie and uncle and 2 of 3 cousins who live in HK. family building, and movement building. not that different, at the end of the day. i have to have faith that we love each other, that we disagree, but that we also support each other. it's not until this last year that i really understand the depth of the psychological impact of the wars in china on my family members. yes, they are relatively privileged, socioeconomically ... and yet, even there, there are long term impacts on them. psychologically and socially too. their need for financial security is due to the experience of them not having had it growing up, due to the turmoil. my cousin who works for corporate sony doing ads/marketing (actually 4 cousins and my sister all do this), still understand and support me in the ways they can. and my auntie, too, who wonders if there aren't better ways to help (she gives money) -- i tell her yes, i do that too. but for me it's not enough. and my cousin who wonders if being out on the streets is enough, does it do anything? i'm like, yes, there's lots -- its the result of many years of organizing ... but we have to be there to make sure the results of those many years of organizing stay together. see fruit . and also that it's important to do what's right. all that. and my auntie, who's been troubled by the many nights of not sleeping, of staying pegged to the television looking for me, and my uncle who just had heart surgery after having appendicitis earlier this year, who is 72, i mean, and the other uncle in taiwan, everyone's been worrying. and that's serious too.
seem to be having trouble uploading photos. more later.

Saturday, December 17

“Tomorrow morning, we’ll either be inside the convention centre or in jail.”

Everyone from our delegation is OK. About half the SF delegation was involved in the CD. As of now about 900 of the farmers are still in jail (Actually, this was written almost 2 days ago now -- all have bene released except for about 10 who are being held; most are korean but they also include a mainland Chinese, a Taiwanese, and a Japanese).

Here are photos from last night’s stand offs. The main march started at 5 pm or so. We knew that this was going to happen, and that the farmers were planning to get arrested and via campesina (farmers from all over the rest of the world; the green bandanas) was going to support.

On the TV, there are Hong Kong people saying they are ashamed of the police, that they would treat farmers this way. Tear gas, water cannons, pepper spray, indiscriminate. One man is crying, his hair is wet. All around the riot cops look like … well,

The farmers – the Korean farmers – were planning on storming the convention centre. If any agreement was going to be signed, they wanted to stop it.

The police are warning “Hong Kong people” to stay away from Victoria Park and away from any activities. There is still a planned rally and maybe a march for this afternoon.

The bridge was swarming with Hong Kong people and people from everywhere last night. It was quiet, peaceful, carnaval like, everyone in the street, a street fair. Some of the Korean farmers broke through about 3 lines of the barricades … we saw them running around behind the police lines. Then the police started to make a push towards the people – we packed the overpass almost all the way to the other side, all the pedestrian bridges were full of people and students who had just come to look, and media cameras, young lovers holding hands, and also all the main marchers were underneath the overpass, on the main roads. We were not far, the convention centre’s been in sight all week. 2 blocks or so. The drummers going, singers, Delegates from inside the convention centre came out to make statements as well.

On the way out of Victoria Park last night after debriefing with the other delegations, the police surrounded the park and revoked the permit for the dance that was going on. We left, in small groups of 2 or 3, the main stations were closed, we had to take a diversion route to a different MTR station. They closed the tunnel (the equivalent of closing down the Bay bridge). On the way out, our two groups of three were met by 2 lines of riot cops.

Craziness: W taking out her contacts full of tear gas using the tiny mirrors on the bag that S gave me from Gujarat. Two blocks down from all the tear gas and batons and Korean farmers breaking through wooden barricades and using the support poles as weapons against the cops’ batons, pepper spray and riot shields we saw: night market, food stalls, shopping. Shopping is like the local main activity. And eating. The police closed down the area and shut down the businesses and two of the MTR stations.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Hunger Strikes & Resident Reflections

There are two hunger strikes going on, both in support of Korean farmers and other groups here. One is Indonesian migrant working women, and the others are Hong Kong residents who wish to make a public statement to help explain to the Hong Kong public, which has been receiving messages about the protests that are really negative and misleading.

For instance, in talking to a local friend who doesn't know I am in town, she said, "You know, my daughters are having to take the subway to get to work, since they work in that area. They can't take the usual taxi or bus; they're worried it'll get a little too crazy. The government's been saying that we should stay away from the protest areas because you never know what the Korean farmers will do, and if local Hong Kong people get up in the mix, then it'll be a real mess."

Our delegation has been supporting the Indonesian Migrant Workers Center. From up here, you can see the marches taking off for other parts of the city. The full body bow, described by Puck's last post, is called ke to in mandarin, it's even more a deep sign of repentence or respect than ju gong, which is a half body sort of bow.

Just now, the Korean farmers delegation passed, the drums and gongs ringing, and inside-outside circle formation. It's getting colder, moving towards night. They're supposed to try and sign something. Many of the smaller developing countries are blocking the move.

Then via campesina also rolled by, purple flags and indonesian flags waving, dalits from india, bangladeshis, and so on .... somehow many of those delegations have found Cantonese speakers who can message to the crowdsin Cantonese. And today, in the park, since it's Saturday, there are lots of kids and parents walking. A famous Indonesian singer, Franki, is also in town, and tomorrow is domestic workers' day off is tomorrow. THere will thus be more people to support. Ahhhhhh.....

Many Hong Kong people have joined the marches now, more people talking as the mood has been festive. In the Indonesian migrant workers center, someone says, yes, the Hong Kong police have been so much more restrained than in indonesia. They'll even block you from doing a licensed and permitted action. Here they have seen police help marchers clear the way and provide security for impromptu marchers. Yesterday's action with folks tagging the US Consulate General is an example. What with so many cameras around, a few police standing by didn't really do anything.

Earlier today, I was showing some of our delegation a few capoeira moves. The two police watching nearby came over to ask what I was doing, then moved to the normal questions: where are you from, what are you doing here. It was a chance for someo f our other folks who speak Cantonese to talk with the police, and they were nice, and curious. I didn't understand the actual conversation that we had about the WTO, but I'll check in with folks later. DA, CD. we've always got to also have support on the outside. Laters.

Friday, December 16, 2005

API Community Activists Protest Against US Imperialism in front of the US Consulate in Hong Kong



Community Activists from Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco stood in solidarity with migrants from across the globe in front of the US Consulate in Hong Kong to protest against the imperialist trade policies historically and currently imposed by the United States. API representatives spoke against the neoliberalist policies and the corruption of the current administration, highlighting the workers exploitation in both developed and developing countries.

Asian American WTO Protestors Interviewed by KPFA 94.1FM

Check out live interviews of Asian Americans (Alex & Kyun) protesting in Hong Kong against the WTO at KPFA.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Dislocated Chinese Garment Workers Exchange Across National Borders

Kwan Tong, Hong Kong – Dec 13th. Youths, workers, community organizers and advocates from the Bay Area WT-No and the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) met with the Hong Kong Women Workers Association (HKWWA) on the opening day of the World Trade Organization 6th Ministerial Conference. Seven former garment industry workers—three reside in Hong Kong and four in San Francisco—shared narratives of dislocation and age discrimination across national boundaries in the district of Kwon Tong.

According to the former Hong Kong seamstresses, they faced shortened work hours and wages, and ultimately unemployment. Many employers only gave Hong Kong seamstresses the work of sewing label in order to fill the quota of having goods made in Hong Kong, when the majority of the garment was produced elsewhere. Other garment employers imposed outrageous demands for multi-skilled seamstresses, knowing that local garments did not meet all the qualifications, which gave employers the excuse to hire cheaper, migrant workers from other regions.

Wu Mei Lin, the coordinator of HKWWA, provided the economics and politics of globalization that lead to the dislocation of seamstresses. With the opening of the Hong Kong market during the 1980s, many garment manufacturers moved production out of Hong Kong into mainland China, causing the drastic decrease of garment industry jobs in the city. With the higher cost of production in Hong Kong, the abolishment of the Multifiber Agreement (MFA) not only has impact across nations, but its elimination causes the shift of garment manufacturing to regions of China with cheaper cost of production, as garment workers dwindle from 3 million to 20,000 in 2000 in Hong Kong.

In paralleling fashion, the end of Multifiber Agreement caused similar dislocation of garment workers in San Francisco. According to Fei Yi Chen, one of the former garment workers and now a community organizer for Chinese Progressive Association, approximately 16,500 San Francisco jobs were lost in the garment manufacturing industry between 1990 and 2000.

With common struggles to for basic employment rights, garments workers from San Francisco and Hong Kong became involved with community-based organizing: the Hong Kong garment workers with Hong Kong Woman Worker Association and the San Francisco garment workers with Chinese Progressive Association. With campaigns that focus on minimal wage, worker protection, and basic benefits, HKWWA opposes the privatization and outsourcing jobs in Hong Kong, the increase of corporate power, and the decrease of state accountability. The exchange between workers highlighted how worker struggles are not limited to the United States or Hong Kong.


The CPA and HKWWA exchange illustrates the need to broaden the discussion around trade and worker rights beyond the benefits to countries. The discussion must analyze those specifically within China and the United States that are benefiting from the WTO trade policies. From the dislocated garment workers in San Francisco and Hong Kong, it is clear the middle age low-wage women workers are caught in the cycle of job and economic insecurity and limited work benefits. Despite their struggles, their narratives and collective organizing also illustrate the solidarity and power of garment workers in reinstituting proper worker’s rights.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Photos - Dec 13 -


This is the second march, from the first day of the WTO opening ceremony.

We got into the caged area after the march from Victoria Park to the little open area. The Korean American delegation, KEEP, and us in solidarity (LA's Garment Worker Center and SF's WT-No delegation), other Korean delegations all provide cover for the men changing into shorts and putting on organge life vests. NY was marching with the ILPS youth contingent, and we saw them later.


Handle's pix of the Korean farmers action jumping into HK Bay:

The drummers provide cover for the people lining up. An announcer is directing people. The farmers who are not going to jump form a buffer zone between the jumpers and the rest of the crowd. The announcer directs the crowd in chants.


They tell all of the media to get out of the way.







more here




Also check out Colin's blog

Monday, December 12, 2005

Photos - Dec 11 action

On the first day of the WTO meetings, we staged another march. The one on the 11th felt like a celebration of ourselves, the 3,500 - 4,000 people who marched, all the different languagees, puppets, actions ....




Migrant Forum Asia - Indonesia

Sunday, December 11, 2005

We've Arrived!

Coverage of yesterday's protests:
South China Morning Post

Our reporters:
IndyBay

Local Independent Media

Other papers:
Hong Kong Standard

It's a trip how everyone's so focused on the fear of violence. the only violence that's coming will be from police overreaction, folks.

AP newswire

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Chinese-American Garment Workers Lose Jobs.....to China (re-post)

This is a link to the Up Front Radio story, featuring, among others, Workers and Alex from CPA, Victor Menotti from IFG, and a professor from UC Berkeley. Publlished Dec 6, 2005 on New America Media website.

New American Media Story Link

The garment industry has a long history in San Francisco, starting when Levi Strauss and Company opened its first factory here nearly one hundred years ago. In the early nineties, there were 20-thousand garment workers in San Francisco. Now, only about two thousand remain as jobs moved to Mexico and China. Ironically, all of San Francisco’s garment workers are Chinese immigrants, many of them middle-aged women who don’t speak English and have few transferable skills. Zoe Corneli reports, a pilot program in San Francisco is giving these garment workers new hope in the new, global economy.

to download:
Click here

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Media Coverage - 12/03/2005

KTSF 26 Cantonese Evening News

Sing Tao B11 12/03/05


Ming Pao A7 12/03/05

Thursday, December 01, 2005

* * * MEDIA ADVISORY * * *

For immediate release: December 1, 2005

For more information, contact: Diana Pei Wu
Tel: (510) 847-9339 (cell)
Email: dianapeiwu@gmail.com

From Chinatown to China and Beyond
Chinese American Garment Workers Go Back to China to Protest the World Trade Organization

OAKLAND and SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A national delegation of over 50 people of Chinese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Korean and South Asian descent called WT-No!, is going to Hong Kong this December. They are not going holiday shopping.

The delegation is part of a broad coalition of Asian & Pacific Islanders including former garment workers, youth, immigrants, activists, organizers, artists, teachers and students who will be connecting with organizations in Hong Kong whose members have shared similar experiences from the impacts of globalization and trade liberalization, and to show solidarity with other workers worldwide.

WHAT: Interviews available before delegation leaves and in Hong Kong with key voices of the delegation
Worker interviews available in Cantonese, Friday, Dec 2, 5 pm / Chinese Progressive Association, SF
Coverage & daily updates of the WT-No Delegation in Hong Kong (Dec 10 – 19, 2005)
Mass mobilizations December 11, 13 and 18, 2005
Blog: http://bayareawt-no.blogspot.com/; Photos and Videos will be uploaded or linked to this site.

WHEN: December 10 – 20, 2005 (WTO Ministerial: December 13-18, 2005)

WHY: Our delegation will help the press move beyond their planned coverage of the Ministerial Conference. Follow over 50 Asian Pacific Islander Americans and Latinos on the outside. For instance,

Lisa Zhou was one of nearly 240 garment workers abruptly terminated in 2001 after having worked for months without pay. In 2002, nearly all of the former garment workers received close to $1 million in back wages. Zhou had come a long way during that year, when the intimidation tactics of her former employers made the workers fearful of taking any public action. Now, three years later, she and over 20 other people from the Bay Area are taking another public action, this time near her old home court of Guangzhou.

Zhou is part of a national delegation of over 50 Asian and Pacific Islander Americans participating in the global protests against the Sixth World Trade Organization (世界貿易組織) Ministerial Conference. They are also going to show solidarity with workers abroad, who in many cases have also experienced subminimum wages, no wages, lack of jobs and/or massive layoffs tied to global trade liberalization. According to Colin Rajah, of the Oakland-based National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Mode 4 of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) could increase the abuses by employers of workers like Zhou.

“Through its “Mode 4” deal, the WTO is proposing to create a global guestworker program that will enable corporations to dictate the flow of temporary workers -- whose rights and immigrant status would be tied to their employer, exposing them to significant abuse such as those endured by Braceros and other guestworkers, with no possibility of permanent residency. We want to highlight how trade agreements struck by the WTO have caused communities to lose their livelihoods and forced people to migrate, while using immigrants as cheap, disposable labor for corporations,” said Rajah.

WT-No! is a collaboration between Bay Area-based organizations including Chinese Progressive Association (華人進步會; www.cpasf.org), Chin Jurn Wor Ping (前進和平; www.cjwp.org), National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (www.nnirr.org) and the Korean Community Center of the East Bay (www.kcceb.org); and nationally, with the Garment Workers Center in Los Angeles, Organizing Asian Communities (www.CAAAV.org) in New York, and Community Organizing Committee (CYOC) in Philadelphia.

# # #

VISUALS: mass mobilizations, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, South Asian organizers and delegates to the NGO conference, direct actions, street theater, signs, banners, etc in many languages.

AUDIO / VIDEO: Interviews with SF Chinese garment workers, Hong Kong garment workers, meetings between garment worker organizations in Hong Kong, video / audio of mass mobilizations, multiple languages (English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish).

OTHER STORIES:

o Education / media / art: A 29-year old Chinese Vietnamese Oakland schoolteacher who teaches young people in Oakland to make videos is going to be making videos herself, in Hong Kong, at the protests to stop the negotiations. Find out who she meets and talks to.

o Environment / environmental justice / activism: A 24-year old Chinese American environmentalist networks with other communities affected by diesel pollution from port-related shipping traffic. Find out how global communities are dealing with diesel pollution and how WTO affects port-related shipping.

o Youth / immigration / diaspora: A young 26-year old Chinese American woman goes back to Hong Kong for the first time to join the protests and to show global solidarity. Find out how she experiences this return trip under very special circumstances.

For more information on how to contact the delegation, please contact Diana Pei Wu; (510) 847-9339; dianapeiwu@gmail.com.