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Message of Solidarity to ang Kasama 47 in Australia

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Network for Philippines Studies
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee,
International League of People's Struggle
5 August 2006

Let me convey warmest greetings of solidarity to all the organizers and performers of Ang Kasama 47, to all compatriots present and all Filipino organizations of migrant workers, women and youth in Australia and to all our friends in the solidarity movement who support your struggle for your rights and welfare in Australia as well as the struggle of the entire Filipino people for national liberation and democracy in the Philippines.

I am deeply pleased to greet you on this happy occasion of Ang Kasama 47: One Struggle, Many Voices-A Night of Culture with songs, poems and artistic performances celebrating the struggle for peace and human rights. I appreciate this occasion for entertaining, enlightening and inspiring all of you to further strengthen your unity and reinvigorate your efforts in the struggle for greater freedom, democracy, social justice, all-round progress and peace against imperialism and reaction.

I am informed that your cultural presentations tonight will show how you cherish your national roots and cultural heritage, how you keep yourselves abreast with Philippine developments, how you support the people's struggle in the motherland, how you defend your rights and interests and participate in the struggle of the Australian people against imperialism and for democracy and how you are resolved to foster the solidarity of the Australian and Filipino peoples.

Let me take this opportunity to congratulate you for what you have achieved in arousing, organizing and mobilizing the Filipinos in Australia, in integrating yourselves in the struggles of the Australian people and in winning their solidarity and support for the struggle of the Filipino people. I commend you for defending the rights and interests of the Filipino and Australian peoples.

Let me convey my gratitude to all compatriots and all activists in the solidarity movement for defending me and other Filipinos who are persecuted abroad due to the malice and machinations of the Arroyo regime and its US imperialist master. We are put in the so-called lists of "terrorists" by the real terrorists. And every day these real terrorists fabricate lies against us in their vain effort to demonize and prepare us for extrajudicial actions.

We are persecuted but we are not cowed. We find strength and purpose in standing up firmly and speaking up clearly for the rights and interests of the people against the plunder, repression and war being carried out by US imperialism and its reactionary puppets in the Philippines and abroad. By defending us, you spread the spirit and message of resistance and you thereby carry forward our common struggle for a new and better world.

So many Filipinos, about 10 per cent of the national population, have gone to take employment abroad. This is because of the growing shortage of employment opportunities and the terrible economic, political and social conditions in the Philippines. To some extent, Filipinos earn more and become better off abroad than if they stayed in their country. But abroad, they usually do not enjoy the same rights and benefits as the host people and they suffer from racial and other forms of discrimination, including substandard income and inadequate legal protection. At the same time, the monopoly bourgeoisie exploits and oppresses the host people and all those of other nationalities.

Wherever they are in the world, Filipinos are beset with the worst forms of exploitation and oppression. The crisis conditions of the world capitalist system are ever worsening for the working people. The dismal conditions are exacerbated by the US policy of "free market" globalization and the policy of "war on terror". So-called free market globalization aggrandizes the monopoly bourgeoisie and squeezes the working people, especially the migrant workers. The so-called "war on terror" has been a pretext for the global spread and escalation of repression, fascism and wars of aggression by US imperialism.

As anywhere in the world, the Filipinos in Australia must fight for their rights and interests. For this purpose, they must build organizations among the working people, women and youth in the Filipino community. They must always raise the level of their consciousness and active struggle. And they must coordinate with and join the anti-imperialist and democratic struggles of all other peoples in Australia. They must develop solidarity and cooperation with the Australian proletariat and people in carrying out the struggle against their common adversaries that oppress and exploit them.

The worst economic, political and social conditions afflict underdeveloped countries, which like the Philippines, are semicolonial and semifeudal. The Filipino people are undergoing unprecedented forms of oppression and exploitation under a regime that knows no limits for puppetry to the US, bureaucratic corruption, electoral fraud and human rights violations. Unbridled greed and terror reign over the Philippines today.

It is the duty of Filipinos in Australia to contribute to the struggle of the Filipino people to change not only the current regime but the entire ruling system of big compradors and landlords, do away with the ever worsening crisis conditions and establish a new Philippines that is truly independent, democratic, socially just, progressive, prosperous and peaceful. You must exert more efforts to win the support of the people of Australia for the Filipino people in their struggle for a better life. You must participate in the struggles of the proletariat and people in Australia and engage in mutual support in the struggle against the imperialists and their puppets.

In fighting for the rights and interests of the Filipino people and other peoples of world against US imperialism and reactionary forces, you must contribute what you can personally and collectively. You can certainly achieve far more by availing of the collective resolve, strength and militancy of progressive organizations that you can build in the Filipino community and that you can join in your workplace or professional field. Together with many more people, you can become stronger and more effective.

I hope that you will win ever greater victories in the years to come. ###

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