By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
On the occasion of the Culminating Caravan of the Asian Peasant Coalition (APC) to mark the 7th year of militant struggle for Genuine Land Reform in Asia, we of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle send our warmest greetings and congratulations to each of the member organizations from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.
The world’s peasants are confronting a new challenge. Monopoly capitalists are unrelenting in exploring new ways and means to further extract superprofits from the exploitation of peasants and workers throughout the world.
The monopoly capitalists recognize that land is an indispensable asset for the production of food and other raw materials for industry. Thus, they are now taking over vast tracts of land in Africa, Asia and Latin America for the cultivation of food and agro-fuels as well as the extraction of timber, minerals and other resources for export to imperialist countries. They are strengthening their monopoly control over all the world’s productive resources at the expense of the lives and livelihoods of the people and the health of the planet.
They are aided by puppet regimes which have sold and continue to sell out their own people’s national patrimony and future in exchange for kickbacks that are measly compared to the super-profits raked in by their imperialist masters. They are displacing millions of peasants who depend on these lands for their livelihoods and existence and have nurtured them for generations.
About 45% of the world’s population make their living directly from agriculture. In Asia and Africa this figure reaches up to about 80% of the population. We need to organize the peasants, farm workers and the rest of the people in their millions to resist imperialism’s incursions and struggle for Genuine Land Reform and National Industrialization.
The contradiction between imperialism and peasants is history in the making. We should strengthen our forces in order to bring us closer to the dawn of a new era for the world.
For the peasantry, the struggle for land is the struggle for life and liberty. Hence, millions of peasants in semifeudal or feudal societies have embraced armed struggle in the countryside as the principal form of struggle. This is combined with legal forms of struggle.
Large number of peasants go to the streets to call for Genuine Land Reform, and patriotic representatives within the reactionary state machineries fight for the democratic rights and interests of the peasantry and the people.
This is for the purpose of drumming up the fundamental issues of the peasantry and exposing the anti-national, anti-democratic, corrupt and bankrupt socioeconomic and political system. The peasant masses demand that this system be dismantled and replaced by a new and democratic one.
Asia comprises the majority of the world’s population. If the peoples of Asia defeat imperialism in their own countries, then we are so much closer to liberating the entire world from the horror of imperialism. Thus, the Asian Peasant Coalition is faced with a great responsibility and enormous challenge.
If the APC could unite the billions of Asian peasants, then we can reach the early dawn of a new era of freedom, democracy, development, social justice and peace. We know that this is a gargantuan task for several generations to accomplish. But we can strive to score significant victories in our own generation.
We call on each and all of APC member-organizations to strengthen unity and cooperation. As imperialism maneuvers and draws up new plans for further exploiting and oppressing the peoples of the world, we should think of creative and effective ways to accomplish our goals.
We of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle assure the APC of all-out support. We should fortify the global worker-peasant alliance and unite all oppressed, anti-imperialist and democratic forces to achieve our goals. We face a brighter future after each day of arduous and successful mass work among peasants and the rest of the people.
LONG LIVE THE ASIAN PEASANT COALITION!
STRUGGLE FOR GENUINE LAND REFORM!
DOWN WITH U.S. IMPERIALISM AND ALL ITS REACTIONARY PUPPETS!