Alex Hing

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Alex Hing


Alex Hing is a New York City activist.

Radical life

Alex Hing was born and grew up in San Francisco Chinatown and have been active in progressive politics since my college days when he ran for student body president leading a free speech slate at City College of San Francisco. The purpose of the free speech movement was to give a voice on campus to the Civil Rights and Anti-war movements at the time (1965).

Like many youth of that period, Hing dropped out of college (UC Berkeley) to become active in the Sixties Movements. He got a job as a dishwasher and janitor in a coffeehouse and became a member of the Miscellaneous Culinary Workers Union, Local 110 in 1967.He has been a member of the union and a restaurant worker ever since. In 1967, Hing was registering African American voters, going door to door in the Fillmore, to put the Peace and Freedom Party on the ballot in California with Eldrige Cleaver for President.

In 1968, Hing joined a bus caravan across the American South as part of the SCLC-led Poor Peoples Campaign honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who was assassinated that year. The campaign united poor people from all parts of the country camping out and protesting daily in Washington, D.C. lobbying for everything from Chicano land rights to full employment, education, health care and housing for all people. During that campaign he met only two other Asian Americans and became determined to promote the Movement in Chinatown.

With the help of jobless youth in Chinatown, Hing participated in the founding of the Red Guard Party, promoting a platform similar to the Black Panther Party’s in the Chinese community. The Red Guard’s first activity was to provide community support for the Third World Liberation Strike at San Francisco State College, which led to the establishment of Ethnic Studies. The party also initiated a successful petition campaign to rescue the only TB testing center in Chinatown and joined with other groups to promote better education, prevent the destruction of low-cost housing (including the International Hotel), oppose the Vietnam War and call for the US recognition of the People’s Republic of China, among other struggles. Because of these activities, he was invited to join a Black Panther Party-led delegation to Socialist Asia in 1970.

Due to police repression, the Red Guard Party was forced to disband but Hing continued to do political work in Chinatown, helping to form the Asian Legal Services which had, among other services, draft counseling which assisted hundreds of Asian American youth to escape being drafted into the war as well as successfully assisting military personnel opposed to the war become conscientious objectors.In the Union during the ‘70‘s, after the culinary craft unions merged to form the Hotel and Restaurant and Bartenders International Union, Hing participated in a successful ten year organizing campaign to win democracy for the rank and file, in opposition to the inept, entrenched leadership of the local. As a part of this struggle, he was elected to the citywide hotel workers rank and file negotiating committee of Local 2 and helped lead the historic four week Hotel Strike of 1980 which won significant gains for the members . In 1983, he moved to New York and joined Local 6.

In 1985, Hing participated as a rank and file activist in the New York hotel strike which lasted six weeks. he has been a shop delegate in my hotel since moving to New York and have been elected to several positions in the Union. he is currently a Trustee of Local 6.In the New York Chinese community, I participated in the Chinese Progressive Association’s Workers Center that conducted worker education and promoted trade unionism. The Center assisted in the successful boycott of the Hunan Garden whose owners tried to fire the union shop steward. The Worker’s Center also hosted an annual Asian Labor Issues course at Cornell University. Out of the Cornell classes a conference was held that led to the formation of the Asian Labor Committee of the New York Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. In 1991, he was appointed by the Union to the AFL-CIO Interim Steering Committee of Asian American Workers serving on the Constitution Committee which led to the founding of Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) and chaired its first Budget Committee. APALA is the first and only national organization of Asian Pacific trade unionists. Hing has been a member of the National Executive Board since APALA’s founding and have been the New York Chapter Secretary since the establishment of the Chapter.[1]

I Wor Kuen

Butch Wing, Warren Mar, Alex Hing, Pam Tau Lee, and Ben Lee were involved in the IHotel Struggle and were part of I Wor Kuen and Chinese Progressive Association (San Francisco). [2]

Meeting Terumasa Hatano

Richard Aoki FBI File, page 428
Richard Aoki FBI File, page 441

Harry Wong Support Committee

According to Pam Tau Lee;

He shared stories of how Alex Hing, Ben Lee, Gordon Chang and Wilma Chan and the community formed the Defend Daih Wong Support Committee. Daih Wong was beaten up by the police because he did not have a license to sell newspapers. It just so happened that the newspapers he sold were the progressive ones and also literature from China. The Harry Wong Support Committee protested police brutality and the right wing in Chinatown. We picketed in front of the police station and packed the court room. He spent a few days in jail and charges against Harry were dropped after court hearings. Community outrage to what happened to him, the victory when the people stepped up to unite and dare to confront the power, was one of the many events that lead to the formation of the Chinese Progressive Association. Yes, we held down the progressive pole in Chinatown and Harry says he is proud as hell we still do.[3]

U.S. People’s Anti-Imperialist Delegation

Alex Hing (center) in front of the Chinese Embassy in Pyongyang, North Korea

In 1970, Hing went on a delegation to North Korea and North Vietnam and then China.

China, North Korea, and North Vietnam were all socialist, liberated countries. They were trying to make socialism work. I could go on about why that’s not a model any longer. But it was fascinating that there were people that liberated themselves from U.S. imperialism, and Vietnam was in the process of doing that at great cost. That was a life changing experience.[4]

The U.S. People’s Anti-Imperialist Delegation, spearheaded by Black Panther Party (BPP) leader Eldridge Cleaver and Ramparts editor Robert Scheer, on a two-and-a-half month tour of North Korea, North Vietnam, and China in 1970. This group was “a cross-section of the U.S. radical left” , different in composition, politics, and itinerary from the kinds of peace delegations organized by FOR and WSP. It was made up of four men and seven women, and four members of the group were people of color: Cleaver and Elaine Brown of the BPP, and Asian-American activists Alex Hing and Pat Sumi. [5]

League of Revolutionary Struggle

Alex Hing joined the League of Revolutionary Struggle.[6]

Unity

In 1989 Alex Hing, was a contributor to League of Revolutionary Struggles' Unity.

Unity staff/regional photographers

In 1990 staff/regional photographers for Unity, newspaper of the League of Revolutionary Struggle included S.H. Abdulle, Bruce Akizuki, Jennifer Brouhard, Richard J. Brown, Doug Brugge, Perry Chow, Ben Ferris, Francisco Garcia, Mary Ann Heimann, Alex Hing, Sonny Kim, Alan Kondo, Gary Kozono, Cynthia Mata-Flores, John Martyn, Mae Ngai, Frank Ogletree, Nic Paget-Clarke, Catherine Pinal, Ellen Spears, Leon Sun, Michael Tsukahara, Laraine Wing..

In 1992 staff/regional photographers for Unity, newspaper of the Unity Organizing Committee included S.H. Abdulle, Bruce Akizuki, Easter Bonnifield, Jennifer Brouhard, Richard J. Brown, Doug Brugge, Perry Chow, Mildred Deel, Ben Ferris, Sayo Fujioka, Francisco Garcia, Michael Green, Mary Ann Heimann, Alex Hing, Rick Jurgens, Sonny Kim, Alan Kondo, Gary Kozono, Cynthia Mata-Flores, Erik Nelson, Mae Ngai, Frank Ogletree, Nic Paget-Clarke, Catherine Pinal, Elizabeth Preston, Ellen Spears, Leon Sun, Michael Tsukahara, Laraine Wing.

"A call to build an organization for the 1990s and beyond"

Unity, January 28 1991, issued a statement "A call to build an organization for the 1990s and beyond" on pages 4 to 6.

This group was a split in the League of Revolutionary Struggle which soon became the Unity Organizing Committee.

Those listed as supporters of the call included Alex Hing, Asian Labor Resource Center/HERE New York. .

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance

Alex Hing serves on the board of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance[7].

Old comrades

Jeff Chop May 6 2018:

Oldiesog.JPG

Badasses - revolutionaries from the front lines- Emory Douglas-Black Panther Party Minister of Culture, Greg Morozumi- I Wor Kuen/League of Revolutionary Struggle and Alex Hing- Red Guard Party/League of Revolutionary Struggle. "We are working for a world of peace, where the needs of the people come first, which is without class distinctions and is based upon the love and unity of all peoples." — with Emory Douglas, Greg Morozumi and Alex Hing in Oakland, California.

Campaigning for Max Rose

From Alex Hing:

“This is the most important election of our lives” was my mantra during this election season. No way I was going to sit this one out and only vote and donate money. While there were many campaigns that needed volunteers, I was intuitively and by happenstance drawn to the Max Rose for Congress campaign in Staten Island. Flipping the House was my main concern and although I know that working with my union or the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) in other very important campaigns is what I should have been doing, I decided to go it alone since they were not participating in Rose’s campaign.

I decided to take a week off work and volunteer for the GOTV part of the campaign. My condo president, Kim Parker, who is active in the Democratic Party, showed me a list of events where Manhattanites could help other campaigns. Two Staten Island Ferry Terminal leafleting events were listed. The volunteers were mainly older whites from the Upper West Side and the Village. When I mentioned to one of them that my first campaign was in 1968 in San Francisco with Eldridge Cleaver for President, he told me that he worked with Bayard Rustin and SNCC and participated in the Eugene McCarthy campaign.

Supporting Max Rose was different. This is a bald white guy who emphasized that he was a highly decorated combat platoon leader in Afghanistan. The beginning of his campaign video shows armed soldiers exiting a helicopter in Kandahar to evacuate him from battle. However, he refused corporate PAC money, criticized both parties for inaction on infrastructure development, wants health care reform and action on the opioid epidemic.
Leafleting is not what I really wanted to do. Knocking on doors and talking with voters is my passion which I have been doing for fifty years since petitioning for Eldridge in the Fillmore (now called the Western Addition) and put the Peace and Freedom Party on the California ballot. Door to door canvassing is the most effective method for mobilizing support for a candidate or proposal. It is far more effective than TV advertising which most campaigns emphasize and spend a fortune on. Fortunately, Milan Rahman, a union organizer and APALA member suggested that I contact Shahana Masum from New York Immigrant Action. She lives on Staten Island’s North Shore, where Muslims, immigrants and Blacks live as well as working class whites. Part of the District is in South Brooklyn with the same demographics. I gave her a call and she and her husband Mir picked me up from the ferry on a dreary Friday morning and drove me to a modest house whose exterior was covered with Max Rose signage where they live with their two sons and their grandmother.
They were really glad that I was volunteering for the rest of the campaign and wanted to go door knocking. They are from Bangladesh and organize among Muslims in the North Shore mainly through the masjids and public schools. So how do you get Muslims to vote for a proud US imperialist warrior? Charles Fall is a Muslim whose parents immigrated from Guinea and ran a successful primary campaign in the North Shore for the State Assembly focusing on Blacks, immigrants and Muslims. Immigrant Action was a part of his coalition which joined with the Rose Campaign for the general election even though Fall had no opposition in that race. I believe this was crucial to flipping the district. In 2016, the North Shore basically stayed home after a good turnout in the primary which Hillary won by 2 points. By keeping Fall’s campaign alive, Rose could mobilize in the underserved community.
Aside from canvassing and phone banking, I leafleted at the Staten Island Shopping Mall and the bus terminal with folks from Immigrant Action. At the end of my tenure, I knocked on over 175 doors, spent several hours on the phone and leafleted hundreds of voters. Mir told me at the Stapleton voting site, there were long lines of people waiting in the rain to vote and that umbrellas were left on the line by people entering the building. Max Rose defeated his opponent by 6 points, flipping Staten Island for the first time in ten years. In spite of a cold, I felt great.[8]

References