[This article describing the views and experience of contemporary Maoist activists in China was received recently by a friend of Frontlines, who forwarded it to us. Since most of the information given has not been available outside China, we post it in the interest of enabling people to understand how the struggles of revolutionaries have continued after the reversal of socialism in China.-ed.]
The Trial of Zhao Dong-min and China’s Political Reform
by Liu Bai
The legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party has been challenged from both the Right and the Left. These challenges have become more open and vocal. The Right has been pushing for political reform that will change China’s Constitution to allow a multi-party Western style democracy. This is the movement behind the 08 Charter. Liu Xiao Bo, who was recently given the Nobel Peace Prize, is one of the leaders of this movement.
The Left has rallied to support Mao Zedong Thought. The growing number of memorials held in September in many parts of the country on the 34th anniversary of Mao’s death demonstrated their strength. In these memorials the masses and their leaders demanded that Yuan Teng-fei be stripped of his Party membership. Yuan has been openly denouncing the Chinese Communist Party, socialism, and viciously attaching Chairman Mao. The Communist Party is trying to find a way out through some kind of political reform. The arrest and recent trial of Zhao Dong-min has led to support from the Left and has further intensified the crisis faced by the Communist Party.
Zhao Dong-min is a Communist Party member and has a law degree from a corresponding school (of the Party School) in Shaanxi. 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. He did this as a volunteer without any compensation. Zhao also served as the temporary coordinator of the Mao Zedong Thought Study Group in Xian, Shaanxi until his arrest.
Zhao’s work was to protect workers’ fundamental rights according to China’s Constitution, the Party Charter and the union’s laws and regulations. He investigated cases where enterprises were sold illegally and deprived workers of benefits due to them. Zhao Dong-min believes that the unions in factories should play a more active role in protecting workers’ rights and should make sure that management does not take advantage of the workers illegally. Continue reading