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Laws, Labels and Liberation: The Case of Professor Jose Maria Sison
Held from May 28-30, 2004, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

 For immediate release
May 30, 2004


Over 150 people from 11 cities across Canada and the United States, along with international guests from Belgium, Hong Kong, India, the Netherlands and the Philippines, gathered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada for a successful and lively three-day conference aimed at examining the unjust labelling of Filipino patriot and revolutionary leader, Professor Jose Maria Sison as a "terrorist" by the U.S., Dutch, European, Australian and Canadian governments.

We discussed the case of Professor Sison, viewing it in the context of globalization and the tactics of U.S. imperialism to dispossess nations and peoples of their rights, patrimony and sovereignty.

We concluded that the aim of these countries, principally the U.S, is to suppress national liberation movements, their leaders and those who oppose imperialism by wielding the arbitrary and unjust label of "terrorist."  It was agreed that these countries have no legal basis or jurisdiction under national or international law to justify the listing of Professor Sison.  Living under this unjust label constitutes a grave threat to his life and security and violates his fundamental human rights as an individual.

Therefore, we demand that Professor Sison be immediately and unconditionally removed from these lists.

In addition to Professor Sison, these countries have labelled the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People's Army (NPA) as "foreign terrorist organizations."  We discussed the leading role of the CPP / NPA in the struggle against the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines, defending the Filipino people's human and democratic rights.

We resoundingly recognized, without reservation, that the CPP / NPA, along with the other member organizations of the NDFP, are engaged in a genuine national liberation struggle.  The NDFP has expressed its adherence to the Geneva Conventions and Protocol I.  It has expressed its full respect for human rights and international humanitarian law and has never targetted non-combatants.  The CPP / NPA do not operate within the jurisdiction, nor threaten the security, of those countries that have labelled them.

Therefore, we find the inclusion of the CPP / NPA in these lists to be unjust, unwarranted and without basis in fact and in law.

Therefore, we demand that the CPP / NPA be immediately and unconditionally removed from these lists.

With respect to domestic anti-terrorist laws, they threaten and violate the human rights and civil liberties of people.  They justify measures that have been condemned as fascist by history and international law.  Such measures as racial profiling, deprivation of the freedom of mobility of migrants and the non-observance of due process, institutionalize a climate of fear amongst refugees, people of colour, immigrants and First Nations peoples.

We have also examined that the aim of the so-called permanent and borderless U.S-led "war on terrorism" is not to promote the people's security, but to deepen imperialist penetration of national economies.  This is clearly illustrated by the U.S.-led wars of aggression, invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq.  They have resulted in the dislocation, dispossession and death.

The "war on terrorism" also attacks international human rights covenants, providing a convenient excuse to demonize nations and peoples struggling for national independence, and make tolerable their murder, theft and re-colonization.  This conforms to the dictates of imperialism, which seeks to maximize profits for transnational corporations, in a desperate attempt to resolve its crisis of overproduction.

It is incumbent upon all, particularly those in the belly of the beast struggling in solidarity with Third World peoples fighting for national liberation, to expose and oppose the so-called anti-terrorism measures and the so-called "war on terrorism" and the dominance of imperialism all over the world.

National Organizing Committee
B.C. Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (BCCHRP)
Manitoba Centre for Philippine Concerns
Philippine Network for Justice and Peace  Toronto
Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (OCHRP)  Ottawa
Centre for Philippine Concerns  Montreal

Endorsing Organizations
International League of People`s Struggle (Composed of over 200 mass organizations from 40 countries)
Bayan  USA
The Common Front Legal Collective  Toronto
Dacajeweiah John "Splitting the Sky" Hill
Global and Societal Ministries,B.C. Conference of the United Church of Canada
Immigrant Workers Centre  / CTI (Montreal)
International Action Center  USA
International Association of Peoples Lawyers (IAPL)
International DEFEND Committee
International South Asia Forum (INASF)
National Lawyers Guild  USA
Network in Solidarity with the People of the Philippines (NISPOP) - New York, USA
PCQ
RCPOC/PCRCO
South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD)
Union des Forces Progressistes (UFP)  Quebec
Vancouver Association of Chinese Canadian (VACC)

 

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