bulmer's blog

China class struggle update

Taxi Strike

With all the media focusing their attention on Chen Guangcheng, Bo Xilai etc, there has been another peak of workers taking action against the harsh working and living conditions in China.

Luddite Bicentenary


This year marks the 200th anniversary of the Luddites, a social movement of textile artisans from around Northern England and the Midlands. Here is just a bit of information about the Luddites and some of the events that have been happening and ones planned for the future, commemorating them.

I want to eat

Chongqing protest

It kicked off in the Wansheng district of Chongqing this week, with many of its residents getting out on the streets to oppose the merger with Qijiang county, afraid that their living standards and economic conditions will deteriorate after the merge.

Music from the Middle Kingdom

Chinese Music

I've been a bit out of touch politically recently as I've got a load of things to sort out, so I thought I'd do more of a cultural post and introduce some Chinese music to the libcom readers. This won't be very representative of the average Chinese worker's musical choice, but just stuff that I've found interesting.

Community hubs, pubs, clubs and social centres

Pub Closing Down

I suppose this is just a reflection on the importance of communal meeting places that aren't always appreciated in the way they should be as well as the break up and isolation of individuals in communities.

China on UK TV

China on TV

This is just a heads up to anyone in the UK, to watch a couple of TV programmes about China being shown tonight (12/03/12). If you can't watch them, then they should be available online tomorrow.

China Blue

China Blue is a documentary that follows a 17 year old Chinese girl migrating from her home in the Sichuan province to work in a jeans factory in Guangdong. It shows the harsh realities as a factory worker for millions of migrants in China.

Libcom library recommendations on China


Even though libcom is primarily a UK based, English language website, there are still tonnes of articles from and about other parts of the world and in other languages. As the resident China-based blog, I've pulled out a few gems from the library about China, both contemporary and historical.

A tale of 2 petitions

Petition signing

When I think of petitioning in the UK, I think of walking around some town centre on a Saturday, hearing someone on a megaphone ranting how they are 'against' something (war, capitalism, cuts etc), then turning towards the noise and seeing a bunch of Trots standing around a stall trying to sell papers and getting people to sign a petition that goes nowhere. In China though, something as harmless as a petition can see you face years inside one of the 'black jails'.

Chinese millionaires fork out thousands to satisfy their urge to kill

Chinese Hunter

It seems the new parasitic class of Chinese millionaires are not content with merely making millions through exploiting the Chinese working class. Increasing numbers of them are now choosing to spend these millions to pay for the right to kill animals all over the world, spending up to 498,800 yuan (about £49,880) on a single hunting holiday. Both the business owners and top ranking government officials are reveling in this new opportunity to act like complete wankers.

State repression of activists in China

Zhang Shujie and 'Long Hair'

Here's a TV clip commenting on the state repression of activists in China, more specifically the case of Zhang Shujie, a supporter of the Hong Kong branch of socialist grouping Committee for a Workers International (CWI).

Government officials flee Zhejiang village over land grab protests

Panhe Villages Protest

Another Chinese village, apparently inspired by the Wukan uprising of last year, has been protesting over land grabs, causing the local government officials to flee. Around 5000 villagers of East and West Panhe Villages, Cangnan County, in Zhejiang Province, are now reported to be running the village themselves.

Occupy Central Hong Kong

Occupy Central Hong Kong

This is just a personal insight in to the Occupy Central Hong Kong (OCHK) camp. Hopefully it gives a bit more of an idea of what is going on there.

Up The Yangtze

Up The Yangtze

A documentary about the effects the building of the Three Gorges Dam across the Yangtze river in China has had on the people who lived in the surrounding areas. It a gives a good insight into the transition that China has been making over the last couple of decades to a neo-liberal capitalist state.

Last train home

Last Train Home

A documentary focusing on one family of migrant workers, mainly around Chinese New Year. It reveals the conditions they live and work in, and the strain it has on the family, which comes out the only time they can see each other over the Spring Festival holiday.

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

Who's Afraid of Ai Weiwei

Here's a video (and links to a couple of other videos) previewing the new documentary about the Chinese artist and political activist, Ai Weiwei, which is premiering at the Sundance Film Festival. I've also added my own thoughts on Ai Weiwei.

Land Grabs and Housing in China

Empty housing in China

I hope to explain a bit more about the land grabs that have been happening in China for a number of years now. This should cover the reasons why it is happening and the effects it has had on the people of China.

Rugby and Apartheid

Anti-apartheid protestor

A documentary about the history of South Africa v New Zealand international rugby matches and how apartheid affected this.

Political policing in China and around the world

Chinese police

The last year seems to have seen a rise in the Chinese government cracking down on political activists, seemingly in response to the threat of the Arab Spring influencing Chinese citizens. There has also been another increase of this type of activity over the last month, using the holiday season to catch people off guard. This also has to be seen in the context of the government trying to clean up their image by backing off in so called 'mass incidents', but really nothing much seems to of changed.

Is there really no option but suicide for so many workers?

Foxconn Workers Protest

This is just a reflection in light of the reports that last week there was a protest by 300 Chinese workers in Wuhan, who were employed by electronics giant Foxconn, that threatened to commit suicide over unpaid compensation.