Author’s remarks at launch of “Building People’s Power”

By Jose Maria Sison

I thank the organizers, the NDF Information Office, the International network for Philippine Studies and ILPS-Netherlands, for launching my book and timing the event with the end of the meeting of the International Coordinating Committee to allow the ICC members to attend. This is appropriate because most of the content of the book consists of speeches and statements I made in my capacity as Chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle in the years of 2010 and 2011.

The title of the book lays the emphasis on building people’s power by arousing, organizing and mobilizing the masses. Indeed, quite a number of the contents directly deal with the building of the mass movement, including the legal mass struggles and the people’s war, and express support for major mass struggles as well as condemn imperialist plunder and war and state terrorism in various countries of the world.

Several times the book gives a comprehensive picture of the world. To the ILPS-USA Chapter are addressed notes on the outstanding features of the international situation, such as the crisis of global capitalism, the wars of aggression and the people’s suffering and resistance. My report to the 4th International Assembly of the ILPS in 2011 presents the conception, struggles and achievements of the League, the ever worsening crisis of global capitalism and the constant and new tasks of the League.

As the crisis of the world capitalist system is currently plunging to a new depth this year, it is worthwhile to review in the book the critique of the capitalist system and neoliberal policy and how this has accelerated the grave economic, financial, social and environmental crises. We expose as aggravation of the crisis the unbridled profit-taking, the wanton expansion of the money supply and credit, the bank and corporate bailouts, the rising public debt and the austerity at the expense of the people.

To a major ILPS member-organization, the Kilusang Mayo Uno, we describe the crisis of imperialism and the peoples’ struggles and set forth the tasks of Filipino workers in concert with the workers of the world. The book expresses solidarity and support for the mass actions in 2010 and 2011, such as the Europe-wide day of action against austerity for jobs and real economic growth, the general strike in Greece against austerity measures and the troika impositions, the national demonstration organized by the Italian metal workers and protest of the youth and working people in the UK against the ruling system.

The book carries statements urging the people of the world to intensify the struggle against imperialist exploitation and plunder in order to attain development and end poverty, expressing militant solidarity for the New Social Congress in Mexico City, condemning the massacre of migrant workers in Tamaulipas, Mexico near the US border, supporting the migrant workers all over the world, supporting the people of Latin America in their struggle against imperialism and reaction and advocating peasant unity in Asia and the need to intensify the struggle. We condemned the Indonesian authorities for harassment and intimidation of AGRA members and for the barbaric attacks on the people of West Papua.

In the year of 2011. the tenth anniversary of 9/11 was commemorated. We condemned the self-confessed Al Qaeda perpetrators as well as the far bigger crimes of terrorism perpetrated by US imperialism. We regard 9-11 as the blowback of the megaterrorism of the US. We also condemned the mass killing of young people by the rabid anti-Marxist Brevik in Norway as a manifestation of ultra-reactionary currents in capitalist society. We supported the heroic acts of Julian Assange and Wikileaks in exposing the documented unlawful acts of US imperialism.

The so-called Arab spring broke out in Tunisia in 2011 and spread to Egypt and elsewhere. We supported the people in their mass uprisings against the autocratic regimes aligned with the US and NATO. In the absence of a strong revolutionary party of the proletariat, the people could not carry their revolutionary movement through to the end. Their uprisings would be high-jacked by sectarian movements like the Salafi and the Muslim Brotherhood and the persistent bourgeois agents of the Western powers could eventually bounce back.

We condemned and opposed the US and NATO in their aggressive attacks on Libya and military intervention in Syria. The imperialist powers succeeded in overthrowing the Gaddafi government but to this day violent anarchy would follow at the expense of the people. The imperialist powers have so far failed to overthrow the Assad government in Syria but as in Iraq and Libya have inflicted on the people the destruction of lives and homes and displacement by the millions.

Turkey is among the puppet governments used by the US in military intervention and has a special interest in carrying out barbaric attacks against the Kurdish people. We have therefore condemned the Turkish government and supported the Kurdish people. Zionist Israel has a special interest in the overthrow of anti-Zionist governments in West Asia and Northern Africa. We are determined more than ever before to support the just cause of the Palestinian and Arab peoples against imperialism and Zionism.

We recognize the urgent need for the revolutionary parties of the proletariat to resurge in the face of the ever worsening impositions of imperialism and the spread of imperialist-instigated war and state terrorism. We have therefore encouraged the rise of such parties as a necessary factor in the victory of the revolutionary mass movements. We have also recognized the high importance of the women’s movement, as reflected in the ILPS statement of 2011, celebrating the centennial of the First International Toiling Women’s Day and the leadership of communist women like Clara Zetkin.

As manifested by ILPS statements in the book, we supported the rallies of the United National Anti-war Committee in New York and San Francisco in 2011. We joined the Global Day of Action against nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons. We demanded immediate action on global warming and climate justice. We called for the shut down of nuclear plants on World Climate Day in cooperation with Asia Wide Coalition and the ICOR. We condemned the US-south Korea war provocations against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and we demanded that the construction of naval base on Jeju Island be stopped.

We welcomed the founding of the ILPS country chapter in Canada. We urged the ILPS chapter in Australia to strengthen itself and help build the ILPS in the Asia-Pacific region. We called for the strengthening of all anti-imperialist and democratic forces to oppose imperialist plunder and war preparations and provocations in the region as well as the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement as a US scheme to further control Trans-Pacific trade.

The book has much to say about the Filipino people and the Philippines, even as it has more to say about the ILPS and the anti-imperialist and democratic struggles of the people of the world. But it must be noted that the US and its imperialist allies have strategic interests in the Philippines for the purpose of economic, political and military hegemony, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. The Filipino people and their revolutionary forces are therefore conscious of waging revolutionary struggles and conducting peace negotiations in the interest not only of the Filipino people but also all peoples of the world who desire greater freedom, democracy, social justice, all-round development and international solidarity and peace against imperialism and reaction.

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