Labour activists arrested in southern China

This week, Chinese authorities arrested three well-known labour activists in the southern city of Shenzhen and charged them with gathering a crowd to disturb public order. Labour activists Wu Guijun, Zhang Zhiru and He Yuancheng are currently being held in detention while another two, Jian Hui and Song Jiahui, were also detained this week but not formally charged. At this stage it is not clear to what event or events these charges are referring. Nevertheless these arrests can be seen as a pre-emptive strike by the Chinese government to warn workers because it fears that labour activism will start to grow again as a result of the slowing economy.