In November 2017, police in China stormed a left-wing student reading group at the Guangdong University of Technology where eight students were arrested and jailed on trumped up charges. Since then, their families have been harassed and intimidated. Sun Ting Ting – the only woman released on bail – has been forced to report into police station, and in February 2018 she was violently removed from a train when attempting to travel to Beijing.

With students playing a crucial solidarity role in supporting labour rights in China, this is being understood as part of a broader attempt to shut down engagement with progressive, political ideas that could damage the economic interests and policies of the State.

Over the past five years in China, feminists campaigning against sexual harassment, bloggers highlighting social justice issues, trade union organisers as well as striking workers have increasingly faced arrest and imprisonment. While organised political activities that build connections among different groups across China have been continually under attack, student reading groups have been protected by freedom of speech laws until now. Activists and groups from across China are calling for solidarity in ensuring these arrests and the intimidation of students do not continue to occur under the shroud of secrecy.

Eight participants of reading groups who have been arrested or are in hiding have written letters to the public this year sharing their poetry and aspirations with the world. Since November, another reading group has been stormed by police with students arrested. Join us in demanding that all charges against the students are dropped, and that the crackdown on progressive reading groups ends immediately. Stand united with our friends in China in defending the right to read.


Latest news

Delegation from Colombian community that stopped world’s biggest gold mine & redefined local democracy visit UK

20 March 2018 - 4:30pm

A year ago this rural community used direct democracy to stop what would have been the world’s largest gold mine. Their example has inspired 50 Colombian communities to challenge corporate exploitation through popular consultations and revolutionised the Colombian presidential debate. 25-30 March they visit London to share their vision for a just, sustainable future.

Read more

Event: "Curfew" Contemporary dance by El-Funoun & Hawiyya

16 March 2018 - 5:30pm

War on Want is happy to be supporting “Curfew”, a contemporary dance production performed by El-Funoun (Palestine) and Hawiyya Dance Company (UK), presented by Arts Canteen. "Curfew" is a thought-provoking contemporary dance production that encourages individuals to self-reflect and take action in front of injustice.

Read more

Join the conversation

RT @GaiaFoundation: "Converting #Colombia’s unique natural richness to #mining represents an irreversible loss” Press Release: Delegation… 1 hour 55 min ago
UK involvement in #Iraq was part of a broader, neo-imperialist policy, for which there has been no justice and no e… 2 hours 14 min ago
Iraqi novelist/poet Sinan Antoon writes about the U.S. and UK invasion of his country. Don’t call it a “blunder” or… 4 hours 7 min ago