CHINA is by some estimates on track to surpass the United States and become the world’s largest Protestant Christian nation by 2021. Even if that doesn’t happen, the celebration of Christmas will remain one of the most important cultural and religious dates on the calendar for tens of millions of Chinese Christians. Beyond its spiritual significance in the country, the holiday has growing commercial appeal.
But regardless of whether we’re talking religion or consumerism, Christmas remains a prickly issue for the Chinese Communist Party. As Gary Sigley, a professor of Asian Studies at the University of Western Australia, wrote in 2007, Christmas is problematic for the CCP “because its sheer visibility in the urban landscape simply reinforces the fact that the monopoly the party-state once had over public space has long since eroded.”
As traditional Chinese culture increasingly becomes central to the Party’s reshaping of ideology and legitimacy, Christmas also gets caught up in the intensifying politics of cultural hegemony.
The left-wing campaigning organisation Momentum was established in late 2015, with the explicit purpose of ensuring the election – and subsequent re-election – of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Much of the mainstream media – in the form of the Sunday Times, Channel 4’s Dispatches and a legion of hangers-on – launched a carefully prepared and orchestrated ‘red scare’ campaign against the organisation and all who support it, painting Momentum as an incubator for ‘loony lefties’ and communists of all stripes. Some drew parallels with the infamous ‘Zinoviev Letter’, a fictional communist missive to discredit and undermine the first Labour government of 1924. What lessons can be drawn from this uncanny historical parallel?
The Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), Bob Avakian’s pseudo-Maoist group, held a guerrilla rally at a cannabis legalization event at the Democratic National Convention in downtown Philadelphia. The event was marked by their normal enthusiasm and soap boxing, but also with a brief altercation. The RevCom delegation marched in with chants of “One, Two, Three, Four, Slavery Genocide and War! Five, Six, Seven, Eight, America was Never Great!” and began speaking.
As you can see in the beginning of the below video, there was a heated verbal exchange taking place between a young man who appears to be a Sanders supporter and another man who had been heckling the RCP presenters; it is unclear whether or not the Sanders supporter was a RCP member, but he clearly was supporting their position in this context. To the right, a man, who was reported as being a “Clinton supporter,” is knocked down, and an altercation begins. See below:
A warning from Jeremy Harding.