On the rights of indigenous peoples

Concern No. 10: On the rights of indigenous peoples, national minorities and nationalities/nations for self-determination and decolonization against discrimination, racism and national opression perpetrated by imperialism and local reaction

Indigenous peoples, national minorities, oppressed nationalities and nations around the world today experience national oppression, racism and discrimination perpetrated by imperialism and local reaction as manifested in:

  • Massive displacement from their ancestral lands and territories by large-scale destructive projects of imperialist corporations and puppet States including large-scale mining operations, military bases, Special Economic Zones, monocrop plantations, dams, logging, agroforestry, biofuels, protected areas and others;

  • Demonization and criminalization of activists and leaders of indigenous peoples, national minorities, oppressed nationalities and nations as so-called “terrorists” under the US-led “war on terror” in retaliation for their resistance and struggles to defend their rights. The imperialist “war on terror” has led to the passage of national security laws and further been used as license to militarize and bombard communities of indigenous peoples, national minorities, oppressed nationalities and nations resulting in massacres, murder, rape, abduction, injuries, harassment and other grave violations of their individual and collective human rights;
  • Continuing racism, discrimination and chauvinism against indigenous peoples, national minorities, oppressed nationalities and nations as seen in State policies of assimilation, integration, resettlement, and non-recognition as peoples with equal status as citizens, resulting in their loss of identity and distinct cultures, and leading to ethnocide;
  • National oppression and non-recognition of distinct and customary socio-political systems in violation of their right to self-determination – the right to freely determine their political status and to freely pursue their own economic, social, cultural and political development.

In spite of these, indigenous peoples, national minorities, oppressed nationalities and nations have struggled and achieved victories and advances in their own communities and countries, some of which are:

  • In Nepal, indigenous peoples actively participated in the Maoist-led people’s war and won commensurate seats in the Constituent Assembly of the new coalition government.
  • In Burma, indigenous peoples oppressed by the fascist military regime are organizing and waging a national and social liberation movement.
  • In India, adivasis (indigenous peoples) are fighting against the grabbing of their lands and resources, massive displacement and fascist repression by the State; and the Naga people are fighting for self-determination;
  • In the Philippines, the Bangsa Moro are waging a war for self determination and conducting negotiations with the Philippine state, while indigenous peoples are asserting their rights to their ancestral lands and resources against development aggression, in conjunction with the wider Filipino peoples struggle for national liberation from US imperialism.
  • There are the struggles of people of African origin who were brought to the Americas through the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
  • There have been numerous other victories, big and small, in many countries.

On its Third International Assembly, the International League of Peoples Struggle resolves:

  • To wage a campaign against the imperialist-led “war on terror” and the national security laws it spawned, with their particular impacts on indigenous peoples, national minorities, oppressed nationalities and nations;

  • To militantly resist displacement of indigenous peoples, national minorities, oppressed nationalities and nations from their ancestral lands and territories and the destruction and plunder of their resources by reactionary States and multinational corporations;

  • To expose and oppose the use of USAID, Official Development Assistance and other so-called development packages as a deceptive and divisive tool against indigenous peoples, national minorities, nationalities/nations;

  • To combat racism, chauvinism and discrimination against indigenous peoples, national minorities, nationalities and nations in all its forms and to recognize their distinct identities and dignity;

  • To reach out to other oppressed indigenous peoples, national minorities, oppressed nationalities and nations around the world and build stronger solidarity with them against imperialism and local reaction towards the realization of their right to self-determination.

  • To continue to deepen our study and understanding of the diverse situations of indigenous peoples, national minorities, oppressed nationalities/nations; present-day forms of national oppression, and the theory and practice of self-determination; and to consciously link their struggles with the class struggle against the common enemy, which is imperialism.

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