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Message of Solidarity and Congratulations to NNARA-Youth for More Than Ten Years of Service to the Peasant Masses

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Network for Philippine Studies
Founding Chairman, Kabataang Makabayan
September 16, 2006

I am happy to join the National Network of Agrarian Reform Advocates-Youth (NNARA-Youth) in celebrating more than ten years of advocating genuine and thorough land reform and serving the peasant masses, especially the poor and lower middle peasants. I stand in solidarity with you and congratulate you for all your achievements.

You are engaged in a great endeavor. By linking with the peasant masses and seeking to be integrated with them in their struggle for land, you are focused on the process of realizing the main content of the democratic revolution, which is the satisfaction of the hunger for land and social justice among the vast peasant majority of the Filipino people.

All great things have humble beginnings. I am aware that your association grew out of efforts of a group of students to integrate themselves with peasant communities in 1995 in a one-month practicum. They came to the conclusion that it was not enough to study and know the problems of the peasants and that it was necessary to form an organized network by which to muster the time and talents of students in contributing to the solution of the problems.

Since then, you have made significant contributions to mobilizing the youth and students to support and advance the agrarian struggle in the countryside as well as to the over-all struggle of the Filipino people for national liberation and democracy. You have undertaken educational campaigns, including appeals, fora, exhibits, rallies and other mean of advocacy, to make known the issues and struggles of the peasantry as well as other burning political issues which involve the broad masses of the people.

You have conducted regular immersion and integration programs in the countryside to increase the number of participants and raise the level of their commitment, remolding and serving to the peasantry and the Filipino people. I commend you for the remarkable growth of your chapters in the UP Diliman, IP Manila and PUP and in the regions of Bicol, Southern Tagalog, Panay, Central Luzon and Mindanao.

In these trying times of severe socio-economic and political crisis, you are challenged to build on your achievements and to expand your organization and intensify your efforts to support and serve the peasantry. The Arroyo regime inflicts on the peasantry the worst forms of exploitation under the policy of so-called neoliberal globalization and the worst forms of oppression under the policy of all-out war in line with the US imperialist policy of global terror.

The peasant masses have no choice but to fight for their own social, economic, political and cultural liberation through the new democratic revolution, in concert with the rest of the Filipino people. This revolution can be won in the Philippines against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes of big compradors and landlords only if the millions of peasant masses are aroused, organized and mobilized to solve their own problems and succeed in the various forms of struggle.

I urge you to do your best and achieve more in supporting and serving the peasant masses. You must keep your commitment long after you graduate from school and follow the footsteps of the best activists of NARRA-Youth who have made a lifelong commitment to the cause of new democratic revolution. ###

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