Hong Kong social workers versus the police

Submitted by AWL on 16 October, 2014 - 2:16 Author: Andrew Casey

Hundred of members and supporters of the Hong Kong General Social Workers Union last night marched onto the Hong Kong police HQ.

They were there to protest the treatment of Ken Tsang a prominent HKGSWU member, a political activist, who works with street kids and was bashed by police during democracy protests earlier in the day.

Lee Cheuk-yan, the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions leader, told local media: "Hong Kong police have gone insane today, carrying out their own punishment in private. Hong Kong's values and its rule of law really have been completely destroyed by police chiefs."

A local TV station has played, and replayed, footage of the police violence showing how they dragged Tsang into a darkened passage and then repeatedly hit and kicked him.

Photos of Tsang, released after he left hospital, have now re-ignited the Hong Kong democracy protests. While the video footage has gone viral  media workers at the TV station are protesting that the original footage was edited. Seven media unions in Hong Kong have thrown their weight behind the TV stations' journalists.

The Hong Kong General Social Workers Union - an affiliate of the independent Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions  - has been one of the more active unions taking part in the protests now in its third week.

At the end of September the social workers union responded to a strike call by the HKCTU, backing the street protests after earlier police violence, with a mass meeting of 2000 members voting to support the campaign for universal suffrage.

Last night the HKGSWU members occupied the streets outside of the Police HQ for hours - filing into the police station in small groups, one after each other, to make written protests about the treatment of their comrade.

While the HKCTU backs the protestors the other Hong Kong union centre, the pro-Beijing Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, is seemingly now organising its unions to attack the democracy movement.

Meanwhile the Hong Kong Police Union has warned that after 19 days of democracy protests and some scenes of mayhem morale among the police lower ranks is just not good.

You can read a piece I wrote here, just yesterday,  on how Beijing is seemingly targeting the HKCTU  hacking into their computers and leaking information against the union to the media.

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