By JOSE MARIA SISON
Chairperson, ILPS International Coordinating Committee
- The current meeting of the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) is highly important because we are going to prepare for the holding of the Fifth International Assembly in the Philippines in November this year. For this purpose, we have made sure that ICC member Elmer Labog and Norma Biñas of the ILPS-Philippines are present.
In this meeting, as already indicated by the approved agenda, we must decide on the following: the theme of the assembly, the program of activities (including Keynote Address, Rules of Participation, Constitutional amendments, the reports of the ICC officers, the Commissions and territorial organs, the workshops, the electoral rules, and election of ICC members) and related conferences, if any as in the Fourth International Assembly, and the tasks and requirements for the hosting of the assembly.
- By way of helping us think of the theme of the assembly, may I mention a number of major trends in the world today.
2.1. The US and other imperialist powers continue to carry out the neoliberal economic policy despite the catastrophic consequences to the lives of the people of the world. The global depression and the socio-economic and political crises generate unemployment, increased exploitation, and the impoverishment of the people. They are also generating state terrorism and wars of aggression.
2.2. The imperialist countries themselves are afflicted by one crisis after another and social unrest, as a result of rapid capital accumulation by a few and austerity measures at the expense of the people, and the accelerated economic and political polarization in society. The neoliberal expansion of the money supply and credit feeds more the financial markets and the military industrial complex than the revival of production and employment, especially in the US.
2.3. The resistance of the people is steadily rising in the imperialist countries against the escalation of exploitation and oppression. However, the big bourgeoisie and the state make use of a wide range of tactics to distract the people, including reformism, chauvinism, racism, war mongering, Islamophobia and fascism, and false charges of terrorism against progressive persons and forces.
2.4. The imperialist powers are increasingly in contradiction with each other over economic, financial, trade, and security issues. Two competing blocs of imperialist power have become conspicuous. But the imperialist powers try to override their differences by shifting the burden of crisis to the people of their own countries, and far more so to the people of the underdeveloped countries.
2.5. The people of the underdeveloped countries are the most oppressed and exploited. Thus, we see the increasing social strife and people’s resistance here. Reactionary violence is by far dominant and is unleashed against protest mass actions, strikes and armed resistance. The conditions for revolutionary mass movements and armed revolutions are favorable.
2.6. The US and its NATO allies continue to undertake subversion and wars of aggression against countries which are assertive of national independence, and which are regarded as hindrances to imperialist hegemony and access to strategic raw materials, markets, and fields of investment. Recently, the US has instigated the neofascists in the Ukraine to make challenges and provocations against Russia.
2.7. The US and its NATO allies are still deeply involved in subversive and aggressive activities in the Middle East and Africa in order to aggrandize their economic and political interests. But chiefly, the US continues to overreach and overextend its power by implementing its so-called pivot to East Asia in order to contain and pressure China and by instigating provocations around Russia and inside Russia.
2.8. China and Russia are major members of two international formations which seek to be independent of the dictates of the US and its NATO allies, and which are regarded by the US as challengers to US global hegemony. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization has arisen in response to the increased aggressiveness of the US and NATO. The BRICS economic bloc has also arisen in response to the unjust impositions of the US on matters of economic, financial, trade, and other policies.
2.9. Global warming endangers the life of humankind and is already causing natural disasters. It is the result of the wanton plunder of natural resources by monopoly capitalism, and the unbridled use of fossil fuel and emission of carbon dioxide under the auspices of monopoly capitalism. The threat of nuclear annihilation is still present. All the major nuclear powers are capitalist and lack social conscience. Only a very few countries own nuclear bombs strictly for self-defense and discouragement of nuclear aggression. The US is engaged in nuclear blackmail and brinkmanship, despite repeated warnings by Russia that it also has nuclear bombs and intercontinental delivery capabilities.
2.!0. In view of the foregoing, the ILPS has the obligation to pursue its mission of guiding, coordinating and advancing the anti-imperialist and democratic mass movement all over the world. It is an international united front of anti-imperialist and democratic forces. It must engage in the study and clarification of global issues, and promote campaigns and programs of action against imperialism and all reaction in order to make a fundamentally new and better world of greater freedom, democracy, social justice, all-round development, peace, and international solidarity of the peoples of the world.
- By way of reporting on the work done by the Chairperson since the previous ICC meeting, I refer you to the internal memoranda, statements on globally significant issues, and messages to ILPS member-organizations and various gatherings. These are in the ILPS website. To complete the report of the ICC and ICG to this meeting, the other executive officers of the ICC are making their respective reports. To give a whole picture of ILPS activities, the Commissions on various concerns and the territorial organs, especially the national chapters, are giving their respective reports.
- As a matter of course, the reports are accompanied by recommendations. The Chairperson hereby recommends the addition of the following sentence to Section 4 of Article IV of the ILPS Charter, on The International Coordinating Committee: To enhance the international character of the League, the position of Chairperson shall be occupied by a person from the same country for no more than two consecutive terms.
- All the ICC members attending in person, by proxy or by Skype are reminded that they may submit to the ICC draft resolutions on any issue of global significance for approval by the ICC as its own position.