Message to the 4th National Conference of the Australian Chapter
of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle
By Prof. JOSE MARIA SISON
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
We, the International Coordinating Committee and the global entirety of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), hereby express our warmest greetings of solidarity to the Australian Chapter of the ILPS on the occasion of its 4th National Conference. We also take the opportunity to congratulate you for all your accumulated achievements in the anti-imperialist and democratic struggle.
You have been successful at developing your chapter in line with the anti-imperialist and democratic character of the ILPS. You have applied well in the Australian situation the principles, aims and guidelines of the ILPS on its 17 concerns. You have consciously carried your struggles in unity, cooperation and coordination with the anti-imperialist and democratic struggles of the peoples of the world.
You have fought against the impositions of US imperialism on Australia and the Australian people.
You have defended the people’s rights and conditions against anti-worker laws and the Australian Building and Construction Commission. You have fought for improved health, education, welfare, public transport, child care, and other public services.
You have defended the people from the global economic crisis and demanded that the transnational firms and banks pay for the crisis that they have created. You have opposed the privatization of public services and utilities, and demanded the nationalization of key industries.
You have opposed the dismantling of Australia’s industrial base through imperialist globalization. You have demanded a self-reliant manufacturing industry in Australia.
You have stood for the protection of the natural environment against corporate destruction and pollution, and you have demanded the end of global warming by corporate polluters as well as the payment for repairing the environment.
You have defended civil rights and democratic liberties. You have denounced state terrorism. You have condemned the oppression, dispossession and impoverishment of the indigenous peoples. You have fought for the rights of new immigrants and the migrant workers. You have supported the human rights of the refugees and asylum seekers.
You have demanded an independent foreign policy and the withdrawal of Australian involvement in US wars of aggression, such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. You have strongly opposed foreign military intervention and wars of aggression. You have helped to build the peace movement and sought the closing down of US military bases in Australia.
You have built peace and friendship with peoples of the world, especially in Oceania and the Asia-Pacific region. You have supported independence, democracy and socialism, not only in Australia but also in the whole world.
The theme that you have adopted for the conference is highly significant and acutely urgent: The People Can Change the World, End Imperialism for a Bright Future. You affirm the revolutionary will and capability of the Australian people and all peoples of the world in their millions to mobilize and fight back against the imperialist neoliberal and fascist attacks on social conditions, social rights and human rights.
The ever worsening crisis of the world capitalist system is inflicting so much suffering on the people but it also drives them to fight back. The people must always prepare themselves for more resolute and militant struggles as imperialism steps up exploitation, state terrorism, interference in the affairs of other countries, military intervention, and wars of aggression.
It is fitting and proper that the ILPS Australian Chapter focuses on the people’s struggle for independence, democracy, better working and living conditions, and a socialist future in Australia.
But it is also necessary that you expose and oppose what US imperialism as a global and regional force imposes on Australia and the Australian people, and how the ruling Australian big bourgeoisie collaborates with foreign imperialist powers, especially the US, in exploiting and oppressing the Australian and other peoples.
We have read and studied your concept paper for the conference. You have a good grasp of the major problems confronting the Australian people at this time. After the mortgage meltdown occurred in the US in 2008, Australia seemed to be exempted for a while from the ravages of the subsequent global financial and economic crisis. But in the last six years, the crisis has wrought severe damage to the Australian economy.
For the benefit of foreign and local mining corporations, the Australian government has abolished the carbon tax and mining tax; and for the benefit of high income earners, it has proposed extended paid parental leave. To make up for the loss of government revenues, the Abbot government has adopted austerity policies involving severe cuts to public health, education and community services, and has engaged in the privatization of public assets and services. The Australian people have been strongly opposing these austerity measures that many of the proposed policies have either been withdrawn such as the extended paid parental leave or still being debated in the parliament.
In the meantime, the US government is using Australia as a sidekick in free trade agreements under the imperialist policy of neoliberal globalization. There are trade agreements with just about every country in the Asia-Pacific region. But the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) pointedly excludes China in order to serve the US scheme to press China to privatize all its state-owned enterprises. At any rate, the US demands the insertion of Investor State Dispute Settlement clauses in nearly all trade agreements.
The TPPA jibes with the US strategic pivot to East Asia to contain China and influence developments within China. In both schemes, the US uses Australia as a puppet, even as Australia distinctively benefits from being the supplier of food and mineral ores to China. In other regions of the world, the US as imperialist master also involves Australia the puppet in the exploitation and oppression of the peoples and nations in underdeveloped countries and in the intensifying struggle of the imperialist powers to redivide the world.
We are pleased that you are determined to discuss the most pressing topics, and you have made special mention of them, such as the US pivot to Asia and the concomitant use of US bases and facilities in Australia; the TPPA and the attack on democracy and sovereignty; the failure of capitalism to solve Australia’s social and political problems; the problem of global warming and pollution; and the question of national independence and living standards.
We are confident that in the course of your discussion of all substantive issues, you will know the nature of the problems, recognize the solutions needed, and arrive at resolutions and decisions that rely on the will, drive and capability of the people to change the world and end imperialism for a bright future. The conference will serve to further strengthen your unity and your ability to coordinate your revolutionary efforts. We are hopeful that your conference will be successful and you will open the way for further mass struggles and greater accomplishments.