From "Sun Wukong" <>
Date Sat, 07 Aug 2004 07:24:51 +0000

Zhongguo comrades,

I just visited Pun Ngai ( at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and learned about two grassroots projects that may be of interest to list readers. The Hong Kong Industrial Relations Institute (IRI: mainly concerned itself with training Hong Kong factory workers in labor rights, occupational health and safety, and marxist theory until a few years ago when it accepted a grant from Oxfam to begin a project to develop an alternative cooperative economy in Sam Sui Pu district, one of Hong Kong's poorest post-industrial districts since the mid-1990s when many of its jobs moved north to the mainland. They have set up two cooperative stores (a grocery store and a second-hand goods store), a newspaper, and an activity center, and they have just begun circulating a new community currency. See my blog for a translation of an article on the currency from the community newspaper and a bibliography on HK cooperativism:  .

A sister organization to IRI, sharing office space in HK and with overlapping staff, is the Chinese Working Women Network (CWWN: At this point the CWWN consists of four projects:

1) Women Workers Center in Nanshan, Shenzhen (now moving to Bao'an-- following the factories, as Nanshan gentrifies into a residential and commercial district): a space for female factory workers to discuss problems and educate one another in labor rights, occupational health and safety, feminist consciousness, and strategies of organized resistance. The Nanshan Center is also where workers compile their quarterly magazine, Zimei Miyu ("Sweet Words among Sisters"; see my blog for translation of a few songs from this magazine:  ; translations of poems and essays to follow; see CWWN website for original Chinese).

2) Women Health Express, a mobile health services center, utilizing a van provided by Reebok a few years ago to serve women in factories throughout the Pearl River Delta. (Reebok refused to give any more funding after CWWN refused to advertise for the company; CWWN gets most of its funding from Oxfam; Pun Ngai will be visiting the US from mid-August to eary September to build ties with American labor groups and foundations-- please contact her at if you have any ideas about new sources of funds, volunteers, or other support--thanks!)

 3) Female Migrant Workers Cooperative: a cooperative store in the Majialong Industrial Village that provides a model of workers' democracy and provides high quality goods for daily use at a below-market price.

 4) Occupational Health Education Center for Chinese Working Women (now serving men as well; there is also one man on the staff who worked in a local factory until he was incapacitated by a workplace injury). Based in Guangzhou, but providing hotline and training services for self-help groups in factories throughout Guangdong.

One last note: CWWN has been deliberately avoiding the press during the past eight years of its development, lest the powers that be shut them down the way so many radical organizations are shut down. They would prefer to gain support through the channels of labor activist networks. Please contact me or Pun Ngai ( if you are interested in helping with any of these projects.


"Revolutionaries are beautiful monkey kings...
We wield our golden-banded cudgels and use our magic to turn the old world upside down, smash it to pieces, pulverize it, and create chaos!
We are bent on creating a tremendous proletarian uproar,
and hewing out a proletarian new world!"
(Manifesto of the Qinghua University High School Red Guards, 1966)

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