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MESSAGE OF SOLIDARITY TO THE NATIONAL YOUTH CONGRESS

By Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman, Kabataang Makabayan

January 26, 2001

The youth organizations represented in your national youth congress have constituted the Estrada Resign Youth Movement. They include Anakbayan, the League of Filipino Students, Student Christian Movement, College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines and National Union of Students of the Philippines.

I congratulate you for having mobilized great numbers of the youth in the mass actions in Metro Manila and nationwide. I am in solidarity with you and share with you the joy of celebrating the victory of the youth and the entire people in overthrowing the corrupt, repressive and mendacious Estrada regime.

It is fitting that your celebration coincides with the anniversary of the First Quarter Storm of 1970. You have continued the brilliant revolutionary tradition of the youth and you have raised the youth movement to a new peak of achievement.

Once more, you have proven that the youth can be relied upon to stand up and fight for the rights and interests of the people in times of crisis. The whole nation acclaims the fact that the overwhelming majority of those who converged on Edsa, Mendiola and elsewhere in the country were young men and women from the working classes and the middle social strata.

You came from the schools, factories, offices and the urban and rural communities to form with other forces the flood that finally drowned and swept away the hated Estrada ruling clique. You have accomplished a heroic feat. This inspires all of us to work harder and struggle further for the cause of national liberation and democracy.

You must raise further the level of your conscious unity along the general line of the national democratic movement and you must become ever more militant in fighting for the youth agenda as well as for the people’s agenda.

We have overthrown one president. In the process, we are well rewarded by having further gained strength and experience. But let us not lose sight of the fact that the US-dominated ruling system of big compradors and landlords remains. One reactionary ruling clique has replaced another and is preoccupied with dividing the spoils of power in a narrow reactionary circle.

We must continue the struggle to change the balance of strength between the progressive and reactionary forces and ultimately end the system of oppression and exploitation. We need to struggle against one ruling clique after another and thereby keep on strengthening ourselves until we become capable of getting rid of the oppressive and exploitative ruling system.

Even the struggle against the Estrada clique is not completed. We are still seeking justice and the punishment of Estrada and his accomplices for the crimes of puppetry, plunder and human rights violations. But even before the people can find satisfaction in this regard, the new regime is clearly taking the same road trodden by the previous regime and is frustrating the just and reasonable demands of the youth and the people.

The new rulers are obsequious to the US imperialists. They are noncommital on the demands of the youth and the people. They are giving the Estradas and the Marcoses all the chances to enjoy the fruit of their crimes. At the same time, they continue to prevent the release of the political prisoners. Their propagandists, who keep on denying the role of the forces of the national democratic movement in the overthrow of Marcos, have started to deny the role of these same forces in the overthrow of Estrada.

You must be ever ready to exercise your right to speak and assemble in order to make demands and protests. Always remember that your schools are mostly in the vicinity of the edifices of power. At any time, you can and should rise up to confront those in power and rouse the entire people to further action.

A rotten ruling system can produce only a series of rotten regimes. We must remain vigilant and must further strengthen ourselves for struggles ahead. The struggle for national liberation and democracy must continue until the Filipino people win complete victory.

The socioeconomic and political crisis of the ruling system is daily worsening. It is interconnected with the crisis of the world capitalist system. The crisis is deepened and accelerated by the imperialist policy bias for "free market" globalization. It inflicts terrible suffering on the people and goads them to undertake all forms of revolutionary struggle.

You have the just cause and proven strength to inspire you in the legal struggle for reforms that are truly beneficial to the people. Such struggle must test and expose the limits of the ruling system and must result in increasing strength of the people and all patriotic and progressive forces in the legal democratic movement.

At the same time, you must be aware that the armed revolutionary movement of the people is growing in strength and advancing against the entire ruling system. In more than 100 guerrilla fronts, the revolutionary party of the proletariat, the people’s army, the organs of political power and the mass organizations are thriving.

I am certain that the youth movement will grow ever stronger along the line of the new-democratic revolution against US imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. I wish you to win ever greater victories in the struggles ahead. #






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