June 8th: Global Day of Remembrance for Victims of Foxconn
Imploring workers to cherish their lives
Demanding Foxconn to stop production and reform
Twelve workers have committed suicide as of May 27th at the production facilities of Foxconn Technology Group, a Taiwan-owned enterprise based in Shenzhen. Citizens of the world and members of non-governmental organizations implore workers of Foxconn to cherish their valuable lives, despite the urgent need to protest against their dire working conditions. Suicide should not be a means to protest the harsh management in the factories. We condemn Foxconn for not having even arranged any public vigils for the deceased workers and bereaved families and colleagues so far.
Foxconn shuts the door when NGOs demand for corrective actions
25 May 2010
Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) and other labour NGOs staged a protest outside Foxconn’s Hong Kong headquarters this morning to express our concerns over the high number of suicides at its factories. Disgracefully, Foxconn did not use the opportunity to make a public account on the issue, but shut its door to the protesters. Furthermore, Foxconn called the security guards and police to “receive” us.
Appeal by Sociologists:
Address to the Problems of New Generations of Chinese Migrant Workers,
End to Foxconn Tragedy Now
18th May 2010
Since January of this year at the Foxconn Group, nine workers have already attempted suicide by jumping from buildings, resulting in the tragic death of seven, with two injured. Why would these young people, roughly all in their twenties, choose to leave this world in life’s most beautiful time? This loss of life is so distressing, and makes us think deeply about the new problems of the second generation of migrant workers and the status of China as the “world’s factory.”
A newly-installed safety net between dormitory buildings to prevent employees from attempting suicide by jumping off the rooftop—can it really help save lives?
[photo by Students & Scholars against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM)]
Since the beginning of 2010, a startling ten Foxconn employees in Shenzhen tried to end their lives. Eight died, while two survived their injuries. All were between 18 and 25 years old—in the prime of their youth—and their loss should awaken wider society to reflect upon the costs of a development model that sacrifices dignity for economic growth.
Hong Kong In-Media: Submission to Legislative Council Subcommittee Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting
Hong Kong In-Media strongly believes that Public Broadcasting should be independent to ensure the freedom of speech and expression in Hong Kong. The recommendations put forward by Government in the "Future operation of the Radio Television of Hong Kong (RTHK) and new RTHK Charter" has ignored the fundamental suggestion put forward by the "Committee on Review of Public Service Broadcasting" that a "truly independent public broadcaster should be developed" in Hong Kong. We therefore express our our disappointment and regret towards such misleading consultation.
As some of you might already know via facebook,MediAct is having a re-opening ceremony in a new space in Sangam-dong at 6:30 pm, May 14, launching MediAct 3.0 with a community of sustainers. IndieSpace is also resuming its activity with an online project in May.
However this does not mean that MediAct and IndieSpace's struggle against KOFIC is over. MediAct filed a lawsuit with IndieForum (two timelines of activities are available on the Act Now to Save Mediact Facebook site).While that legal battle continues, they are trying to start alternative space and activities.
Editor note: below is a translation of Beijing News' interview with Hu Yong, a Beijing University Professor, on the potential of micro-blogging in political engagement in China.
The potential of Microblogging to become a milestone
If the BBS was the first milestone, then microblogging certainly has the potential to become the second. The meaning behind the microblog becoming a milestone, is in the way it spreads information.
BJ News: You have long been concerned about the development of the Internet; how do you view this emerging microblogging communication tool?
There are several online communities active in political and social mobilization in Hong Kong. One of them is Hong Kong Golden forum, its members are very critical of the Government and active in coordinating protests and demonstrations. However, recently, the CEO of the forum, Joe Lam （林祖舜）openly supported more legislation on cyber bullying.
*Liu Shih-Diing and Lou Lai-Chu Ivy have just published an article titled "The Internet as Macau's Alternative Public Sphere." in Mass Communication Research(Issue no. 102, January, 2010, p. 253-293). What follows is a summary. For the full version, please go here.
Liu and Lou highlight the importance of the resistant or alternative meanings generated in the Internet in Macau, a city in which the mainstream media and political institutions fail to help people to voice out and monitor the government. Hence, the Internet becomes a field formed by contesting discourses in which the people engage in the struggle for discursive power and resistant spaces. Since the handover in 1999, the Internet has played an important role in engaging people in political and social controversies. However, according to the authors' observation, the public sphere enabled by the Internet in Macau is still a "weak" one without substantial power to initiate social reform.
What could we learn from Google's withdrawal in China? Evan Williams, the co-founder and CEO of Twitter, had an idea. "We are partially blocked in China and other places and we were in Iran as well," he said at the World Economic Forum in Davos. "The most productive way to fight that is not by trying to engage China and other governments whose very being is against what we are about." Moreover, Williams mentioned that Twitter is now developing technology to prevent government censorship. In fact, Twitter runs across multiple mediums including the Internet and mobile devices, as well as modify the Hosts file, use Tweeter tool to set up their own Twitter API and use Dabr and other third-party sites and softwares, secure their advantage over a singular website to avoid government censorship.