Han Dongfang Speaks on the Trade Union Movement in China
Noted Chinese labor activist to speak at UCLA as the Regents' Lecturer, Spring 2005
Thursday, June 02, 2005
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Building "Social Justice & Harmony" In China: What An Authentic Trade Union Movement Can Contribute
A reception will follow Mr. Han's talk.
Han Dongfang, a railway electrician, has been described as China’s Lech Walesa. When he organized Communist China's first independent labor union in 1989, during the Tiananmen democracy movement, the Chinese government put him on its “most wanted” list. Unlike most dissident leaders, Han did not flee the country, but chose instead to surrender to the authorities. He was imprisoned for two years, during which time he contracted tuberculosis. Released in 1991, he was re-arrested in 1992. Later that year, after intense lobbying by members of the U.S. Congress and the AFL-CIO, Han was given medical parole and sent to the U.S. for treatment, where a lung was removed. In 1993 Han tried to return to China, but was turned back at the Hong Kong border, where Chinese authorities refused him admission.
Han took up residence in Hong Kong, where, since 1997, he has hosted an influential weekly program on Radio Free Asia that reaches an estimated 40 million people on the mainland. He is the director of the China Labour Bulletin www.china-labour.org.hk and is on the steering committee of the World Movement for Democracy www.wmd.org. Han continues to promote workers’ rights in China, and is in contact via phone and e-mail with workers throughout the mainland.
In recognition of his many years of activism, Han has received the National Endowment for Democracy’s “Democracy Award,” presented by President Bill Clinton in 1993, as well as the Gleitsman Foundation’s 2005 “International Activist Award.”
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The Regents of the University of California have established the Regents’ Professors and Lecturers Program, which permits the appointment, on a visiting basis, of distinguished leaders from fields outside the traditional boundaries of the academic world to enrich our instructional program.
Cost: Free and open to the public
Seating is limited. RVSP by Friday, May 27 to Rosemary Chiaverini (310) 206-6347 or firstname.lastname@example.org