Far apart, no space to breathe: protest for Uyghur freedom

picture of uyghur solidarity protesters outside the chinese embassy

6pm Saturday 5 September
Embassy of China, 49 Portland Place, London W1B 1JL
Map
Facebook event

The Uyghur Solidarity Campaign UK brings together solidarity in the UK workers’ movement in support of the Uyghur people’s struggle for freedom.

Join our social-distanced protest outside the Chinese Embassy on Portland Place – space apart along the pavement and demand an end to enforced separation and collective suffocation.

Thanks to the tyranny of the Chinese state, the Uyghur people are enduring both isolation and suffocation.

Uyghurs in China are disconnected from family members abroad, unable to contact them for fear of brutal repercussions. Millions of Uyghur people are forcibly separated from their families, detained by the state or in forced-labour production schemes. Uyghur children are institutionally separated from parents and other family members.

At the same time as imposing this social and physical dislocation, the Chinese state is suffocating the life out of Uyghur society. An extreme, intense surveillance regime which even invades their own homes, is the daily experience of Uyghurs in China, imposing harsh rules that severely restrict or even prohibit speaking the Uyghur language, enjoying Uyghur culture, music and literature, and practising the Muslim religion. Life for Uyghurs and other Turkic- and Muslim-heritage minorities in the “re-education” (concentration) camps is even more suffocating, facing daily indoctrination by the state, imposed by a regime of total control and fear – including abuse, rape and torture. The Chinese state is seeking to eliminate the cultural and national identity of the Uyghur people and turn them into obedient servants of the state, culturally Han Chinese and politically loyal to the CCP.

More recently, we have seen emerging evidence of forced sterilisation of Uyghur women and a dramatic decline in Uyghur birth rates. The Chinese government is imposing elements of both physical and cultural genocide, in an attempt to eliminate the national self-assertion of the Uyghur people as the region of “Xinjiang” (the Uyghur people’s homeland of East Turkestan) has become central to China’s imperialist Belt and Road Initiative.

Against this, we stand for the rights of the Uyghur people:

  • the right to contact, and connect with, family members and friends, both in China and around the world, and for separated Uyghur children to be reunited with their families;
  • the space to breathe and thrive as a society, the cultural and political space to enable freedom of expression and meaningful self-determination;
  • and the right to be free from suffocating surveillance, arbitrary detention, forced labour, abuse, torture, rape and political and cultural indoctrination.

To observe social distancing at our protest, we are asking everyone to spread out and space apart along Portland Place. Please bring signs and banners that emphasise our objection to imposed separation and isolation, and our demands for the Uyghurs to have the space to breathe, to live and to thrive as a people.

  • WEAR A MASK
  • BRING YOUR HAND SANITISER
  • HOUSEHOLDS KEEP APART
  • DO NOT ATTEND IF SOMEONE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD IS VULNERABLE OR HAS HAD CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS IN THE LAST 2 WEEKS
*silhouetted hands reaching out to each other* Text reads: far apart no space to breathe STOP GENOCIDE CLOSE THE CAMPS END FORCED LABOUR FREE THE UYGHUR PEOPLE PROTEST 6pm 5 Sept & every month Chinese Embassy London 49 Portland Place @campaignuyghur

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