Working with Min Quan (Chinese Civil Rights) in the UK!

I was active with Min Quan in the early to mid-2000s. This was the Chinese Civil Rights Movement in the UK. It was run by Jabez Lam – an elderly Hakka-Chinese man who was always in and out of Gerard Street. His colleague was Bob Chan – a lawyer with an office in Gerard Street – specialising in Chinese immigration and other relevant issues to the Chinese Community. I was personally introduced to Jabez Lam in Gerard Street – and even spoke to him on the ‘phone over various issues. He appeared (I think) on a Channel Four documentary about the racism Chinese people face in the UK – which unleashed a tidal wave of racism against him (and others) from the White and non-White communities! One clip featured an ethnic Chinese person tentatively approaching a voting centre and asking how he could vote – only to be turned away by the White officials! However, Min Quan only existed because a British-Indian organisation entitled ‘The Monitoring Group’ granted Min Quan a small part of its already limited budget. The problem was that Jabez Lam was pro-Mainland and pursued Chinese workers’ rights in the UK. He (quite rightly) viewed capitalism as the problem – but a certain number of the relatively well-off bourgeois Chinese in the UK funded extensive disinformation campaigns against Min Quan – attempting to impress their White (capitalist) paymasters funded! This Chinese ‘class enemy’ within used every conceivable lie in the book to sully the activities of Min Quan until it became politically untenable for the The Monitoring Group to continue to host Min Quan. This small but affluent group of bourgeois Chinese in the UK collaborates with the reactionary forces of capitalism and the White racism it spawns. They fund all the projects aimed at weakening the Mainland Chinese presence in the UK (and the West), and prevent the majority of poor Chinese people from effectively unionising and showing their collective support for Mainland China. A diverse Asian organisation in the UK comprised of Indians, Arabs and Persians, etc, did try to help the Chinese people living here – but reactionary elements (oddly all linked to British Born Chinese online discussion forums) – will not allow any consolidation around a Socialism that looks to China with respect – but that is another story!

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