By Antonio Tujan, Vice Chairperson for Internal Affairs
International Coordinating Committee
June 23, 2019
The International League of Peoples Struggles is the only strong militant alliance of anti-imperialist organizations around the world and has achieved even more tremendous achievements in the past four years since the 5th assembly in 2015. This report covers the successes in membership generation, chapter building, internal organizations such as commissions, regional committees and global leadership bodies. This report also covers the work of this office in conducting outreach to other international organizations through its alliance, networking, coordination and other initiatives in campaigns and struggles from national, regional and global level.
Growth and spread of membership
There are now a total of 377 member organizations. It has been difficult to reconstruct the membership rolls from the initial great success of the founding assembly in 2001 but since then members has increased tremendously. Out of the current count, we now have in this 6th assembly so far 273 registered organizations attending, besides an additional 195 delegates members attending the current assembly and number of 78 guests and observer organizations registered.
Before at the 5th assembly, member organizations came from 28 countries. Now our members come from total of 45 countries and territories, in Asia 21, in Lat Am 11, in Africa and Middle East 4, in NA 2 , and 10 in Europe. While our members have far broader reach of recruitment into ILPS within our countries, we need to we need to improve our methods of consolidation through anti-imperialist and democratic education propaganda and campaign to turn these activities to actual membership in more countries.
Country chapter building
The country chapter is critical in recruitment into ILPS of all kinds of people’s organization interested in joining the process of radical social transformation at country level through mass campaigns and struggles. Thus we have been building country chapters since the second assembly in 2004. From nine chapters existing in 2015 we have increased the number of chapters to a total of sixteen country chapters — five (Hong Kong-Macau, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia) in Asia, two (Senegal and Kenya) in Africa, six (Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Argentina, El Salvador, Colombia) in Lat Am, two (US and Canada) in North America and one (Netherlands) in Europe.
A number of country chapters are currently in the process of building organizing committees this year needs just a minimum of three members. Once an organizing committee established it can already recruit new members without securing approval from the ICC. Thus the process of recruitment and expansion is hastened.
Currently the country chapters are in different stages of existence. Some are full-fledged with membership assemblies held regularly. Some have already been launched but await an assembly; while some have not yet been publicly launched but have organizing or working committee and are already active in public activities such forums and others forms of action. To finalize the building of the country chapter, the assembly is necessary so that democratic election of leadership, collective planning of a general program of action and strengthening of the secretariat are achieved.
The significance of country chapters goes beyond the recruitment of individual member organizations in a country to participate in the process of international solidarity and benefit from it. Moreover the country chapter is the mechanism whereby individual organizations are able to participate collectively in contributing and benefiting in international solidarity. In the process, it allows better coordination and cooperation of members amongst themselves in international solidarity concerns. Further they are able to reach out for recruitment other organizations and conduct internal consolidation activities like education.
Sometimes some chapters find difficulty in differentiating the role and work of ILPS as an anti-imperialist and democratic international alliance, especially when the country chapter members all share a common affiliation or come from the same political anti-imperialist democratic formation different from ILPS. It would appear that the ILPS chapter is a duplication of the national alliance. It is the responsibility of all activists to conduct alliance outreach to draw organizations in their affiliation but there will always be anti-imperialist organizations who may not be of the same affiliation who can be drawn to the ILPS country chapter and/or are interested in ILPS and any of its 18 concerns, specifically for its role in anti-imperialist international solidarity. There is always the responsibility to reach out broadly and draw these organizations to ILPS even though these organizations can also be drawn to their affiliation or to thematic networks that are also anti-imperialist to continue to strengthen its own network and ILPS too.
Country chapters are also important because they strengthen the members collective actions like forums, pickets and rallies on international issues against imperialism whether on global issues or providing solidarity support for other countries, organizations and people being oppressed, exploited and attacked by imperialism and reaction. The country chapter also contributes to better anti-imperialist alliance and outreach at the local level, besides contributing to better planning for national action that has international solidarity components or national contribution to international action.
Many chapters have realized the added value and contribution of ILPS in deepening collective international solidarity and also reaching out to others outside the original political affiliation of a group of members.
The internal structure is enshrined in the Charter and the By Laws, and has developed from the first and second assemblies with the establishment of the Commissions of different concerns, and the creation of Regional Committees besides the organs of the global leadership composed of the International Coordinating Committee, the International Coordinating Group (ICG) which acts as the standing body and the General Secretariat.
Regional committees – Asia-Pacific and Latin America are the existing committees which have been established, and there are plans to reset up Europe and set up soon Africa-Middle East where regional coordinators were appointed recently by the ICC. The regional committees are important bodies which help organize the country chapters besides strengthening global operation and plans through regional implementation or participation in lead broad campaigns and struggles and alliance and networking. The regional committee also conduct their own independent regional plans and activities like conferences, mass actions and struggles.
Commissions for Specific Concerns – From the original study commissions conceptionalized at ILPS’ founding, the commissions have evolved and increased to eighteen concerns and evolved over the years not just as study commissions, but also developed resolutions for action and other forms of cooperation like forums and conferences, campaigns and the like.
Over the years almost all commissions were able to convene during the assemblies to study and collectively analyze issues, and make plans and pass resolutions for the conduct of for struggles and meetings, issuing public statements, calling for actions and others. Some commissions have gone further and resolved to develop autonomous networks for campaign and cooperation
and networking to draw other organizations and groups/individuals not yet ready to join ILPS for many reasons.
Meetings were held twice a year with some Philippine based commission leads and VC for Internal Affairs since the 5th assembly. A recurring problem was discussed where half of the commissions struggled to maintain coordination in between assemblies to implement their resolutions like campaigns and organizing. This problem has been discussed in several meetings of the ICC and we resolved that there is need for better identification of leads for each commission, and the institution of better coordination mechanisms. We hope that at this assembly each commission will ensure in their plans two leads who commit to the work, that at least around ten organization commit key active volunteers, that the commission should have at least biannual face-to-face meeting and have strong communication system including a dedicated listserve and active subdomain in the ILPS website.
We still have to resolve the fact that everyone agrees to have a commission on the elderly and other-abled persons but no commission is organized and the fact that many participants want to attend commission discussions on the LGBT but no one stands up to organize it. We have a new commission agreed at the 5th assembly on the urban poor and homeless which debuts this assembly and there are also expected charter resolutions to create a new concern on the environment and climate change.
There are also discussions scheduled in this assembly for the creation of a commission of churchpeople.
Several members and commissions have also sponsored the creation of broad anti-imperialist networks. Others are independent efforts of different organizations and we cooperate with IMA of migrants, IWA of women, WORKINS of workers, APC of peasants and PCFS rural development coalition, and IPMSDL of indigenous and minorities.
PRISMM is a member that cooperates with the whole ILPS through 5th assembly general resolution to develop and assist member organizations with Marxist anti-imperialist and socialist education and training through its programs and activities and bring its services to the different continents. PRISMM collaborated ILPS in two major global campaigns in 2018-2019 to commemorate the centenary of the great October Revolution and the Second Centenary of the life and contributions of Karl Marx to humanity. It was supported by ILPS members Institute National and Political Studies (INPS, Utrecht) and Institute of Political Economy (IPE, Manila).
The global leading bodies of ILPS have been quite active under the helm of our Chairperson, organizing meetings regularly produced resolutions on a number of important initiatives. A number of ICC resolutions and Chairpersons memoranda have resulted in several campaigns including conferences and other activities including the creation of a broad antiimperialist global network against monopoly capital called People Over Profit with secretariat in Manila through Commission 2 with IBON International/ APRN. The ILPS/IWA Toronto Anti-US War Conference in July 2016 created by resolution the Resist US War campaign movement with secretariat in New York with ILPS US, with support from Commission 1, ILPS Asia Pacific and APRN. #