10 July 2011
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) successfully held its Fourth International Assembly (4th IA) from July 7 to 9, 2011 held in Manila, Philippines under the theme, “Build a Bright Future! Mobilize the People to Resist Exploitation and Oppression Amidst the Protracted Global Depression, State Terrorism and Wars of Aggression”!
The 4th International Assembly of the ILPS marks a milestone as it celebrates its ten years of existence. It was a resounding success.
The 4th IA was attended by more than 430 delegates and observers from 200 organizations in 43 countries, territories and autonomous regions; namely, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong (SAR), India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Macau, Malaysia, Manipur, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Senegal, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, United States, Venezuela, West Papua and Zimbabwe.
The number of participants surpassed all previous records of ILPS Assemblies and is a shining testimony to the vitality of the League.
Len Cooper from Australia, Vice Chairperson of the ILPS, opened the 4th International Assembly by paying homage to ILPS founding Chairperson, Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran, a true internationalist.
The Assembly approved the Agenda and the Rules of Participation including the Rules for Nominations and Elections to guide the conduct of the whole proceedings.
Unable to personally attend the Assembly due to travel restrictions, Prof. Jose Ma. Sison, Chairperson of the ILPS based in The Netherlands, participated via Skype. He presented the Report of the Chairperson in which he laid out the most significant political and organizational achievements of the League in the last ten years since its founding in 2001.
He discussed the major aspects and trends regarding the current global crisis of the capitalist system, the intensifying exploitation and oppression on the people by imperialism and reaction, and the growing resistance of the people.
He then proposed to the Assembly the important tasks in Political Education, Organization and Mobilization. Among the tasks the Chairperson lined-up for the League are: to conduct study meetings, seminars and conferences on major issues; to expand ILPS in the global regions of Africa, Latin America, Central Asia, South Asia and Eastern Europe; and to seek the cooperation of national liberation movements, campaign centers, organizations, institutions and alliances for the purpose of mass mobilizations and building the broadest united front against imperialism and all forms of reaction.
He said that the broad masses of the people are struggling resolutely and militantly and moving in the direction of building a fundamentally new and better world.
Malcolm Guy, General Secretary of the ILPS, delivered the report of the work of the general secretariat by highlighting the growth of the League with the formation of new chapters in Canada and Hong Kong and Macau. These new chapters join the chapters in the Philippines, Australia and Indonesia. He also cited the advantage of having a regional coordinating committee such as that in East Asia and Oceania, which was established in 2005, and recommended the setting up of a regional coordinating committee in North America.
He said however that this growth is a good start but stressed the need to expand even more boldly and widen the anti-imperialist united front into a truly global force capable of organizing against imperialism on all fronts. Towards this end, the General Secretary called for the consolidation and strengthening of the League by doubling its forces within the next three years, paying particular attention to Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, and the establishment of more ILPS chapters worldwide.
He also emphasized the need to strengthen the staff of the General Secretariat based in Utrecht, The Netherlands and the development of regional secretariats. Finally, he reminded the members of the League about their financial obligations.
Theo Droog, the ILPS Treasurer, gave his report on the finances of the League. Membership dues have been the primary source of income for the operations of the central organs of the League. The League’s expenses were kept at the minimum and at the barest of necessities such as running the offices of the chairperson and the general secretary.
He pointed to the problems related to collecting the membership dues. One problem is how to more efficiently collect the dues and send them to the treasurer for safekeeping. Another is some member organizations from underdeveloped countries find the dues too high which discourages them from paying regularly. The treasurer therefore proposed to have some way of setting the amount to be paid according to the varying financial capability of the member organizations.
ILPS Auditor Chito Quijano of Bayan USA said that he was attesting to the accuracy and integrity of the treasurer’s report after reviewing it. He pointed to the fact that the activities organized and carried out by various organs and sections of the League were mainly self-financed. Various tasks have been accomplished through countless hours spent by volunteer workers and staff.
Workshops on the different concerns of the League were successfully held. They passed important resolutions and approved major campaigns on their respective areas of concern. The results of the workshops were presented in the plenary and these were enthusiastically received and approved by acclamation.
The Assembly discussed and approved the General Declaration of the 4th International Assembly. It contains the analysis of the continuing crisis of the world capitalist system and the rising resistance of the world’s peoples. The portion from the Report of the Chairperson on the new and constant tasks of the League was incorporated into the General Declaration.
The Assembly passed a resolution to defend the integrity and unity of the ILPS against the attacks and sabotage by a group of sectarians and as a means to remove an obstacle to the healthy expansion and consolidation of the League. The large number of participants was a clear repudiation of the call of the sectarians to boycott the Assembly.
As in previous assemblies, the major documents from the 4th International Assembly such as the Report of the Chairperson, the Report of the General Secretary, the ILPS Charter as amended, the General Declaration and the resolutions resulting from the workshops on the various Concerns and other special resolutions approved by the assembly will be published as a book.
The election of the new members of the International Coordinating Committee was held and the following were elected as regular members of the ICC: Ario Adityo (Indonesia), Cho Akira (Japan), Carol Araullo (Philippines), Binda Man Bista (Nepal), Ramon Bultron (Hong Kong), Fatima Burnad (India), Poguri Chennaiah (India), Len Cooper (Australia), Rudi Hartono Daman (Indonesia), Demba Moussa Dembele (Senegal), Bill Dores (United States), Theo Droog (Netherlands), Luis Dutan (Ecuador), Malcolm Guy (Canada), Kuusela Hilo (United States), Wahu Kaara (Kenya), Mustafa Kilinc (Germany), Elmer Labog (Philippines), Florentino Lopez Martinez (Mexico), Lyn Meza (United States), Peter Murphy (Australia), Nikos Noulas (Greece), Jose Ma. Sison (Netherlands), Antonio Tujan (Philippines), Nestor Villatoro (Guatemala), Jang Chang Weon (South Korea) and Daphna Whitmore (New Zealand).
And the following as alternate members: Rey Casambre (Philippines), May Kotsakis (Australia), Dennis Maga (New Zealand), Liza Maza (Philippines), Malem Ningthouja (Manipur), Rafael Mariano (Philippines), Steve da Silva (Canada) and Barbara Waldern (South Korea).
The 4th International Assembly was concluded and a Solidarity Cultural Night was held to celebrate the achievements of the League with the participants expressing their continuing commitment to the struggle through song, dance and poetry. The musicale Ang Makata’y Mandirigma (The Poet Is a Warrior) was staged as the main event, featuring the struggle and poems of Jose Maria Sison in the fascist prison.
Revitalized and energized by the resounding success of the 4th International Assembly, the delegates were one in affirming their commitment to raise higher their political will and capabilities in facing up to the challenges and in effectively advancing the work of the League in every arena of the anti-imperialist and democratic struggle of the world’s peoples.