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Orientation for Current and Prospective ILPS Participants
on the Third International Assembly of the ILPS


By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples' Struggle
February 24, 2008

May I convey warmest greetings of solidarity to all colleagues and friends who are present in this Philippine Solidarity Night in New York. I congratulate BAYAN USA Northeast and its member organizations, Anakbayan NY/NJ, Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FIRE) and NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP) for organizing this event and for making it an occasion to commemorate the Filipino-American War and to orient current and prospective participating organizations of the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS) about the forthcoming Third International Assembly of the ILPS.

The two purposes of the occasion are interrelated. The Filipino-American War that started in February 1899 was a major landmark in world history, together with the Spanish-American War (1898), the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05) and the economic crisis in Europe in 1900, that gave definite shape to modern imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism, super-exploitative and aggressive, with the oldtimers and newcomers in the colonial game ever struggling for a redivision of the world.

The US imperialists pretended at first to aid the Filipino revolutionaries and people against Spanish colonialism. But soon enough they laid bare their own colonial scheme and launched the war of aggression against the Filipino people and the newly-born Philippine republic. The Filipino people and revolutionary forces fought heroically for national liberation and democracy against US imperialism. It is therefore fitting and proper to avail of the same occasion to give you an orientation on the ILPS, which is dedicated to the struggle against imperialism and for democracy.

Description of ILPS by its Charter

According to its Charter, the ILPS is an anti-imperialist and democratic formation. It promotes, supports and develops the anti-imperialist and democratic struggles of the peoples of the world, including the workers, peasants, women, youth, professionals and other sectors of society against the ideological, political, military, economic, social and cultural domination and attacks of imperialism and reaction.

It has a broad mass character. It is not subordinate to any political party, government or religious authorities and affords equality to all participating organizations. It strives to realize the unity, cooperation and coordination of anti-imperialist and democratic struggles throughout the world.

It exposes and opposes the oppressive and exploitative policies and acts of the imperialist and puppet states, the multinational companies and imperialist-dominated international agencies, such as the IMF, World Bank and WTO, the UN Security Council and the military alliances such as the NATO and the US-Japan Security Treaty.

18 Concerns

The ILPS stands and fights for the oppressed and exploited peoples in connection with 18 concerns, which are the following:

  1. The cause of national liberation, democracy and social liberation against imperialism and all reaction;
  2. Socio-economic development for oppressed and exploited countries and nations and social equity for all working people;
  3. Human rights in the civil, political, economic, social and cultural fields against state violence, national oppression, class exploitation and oppression, gender oppression, fascism, castism, racism and religious bigotry;
  4. The cause of just peace and struggles against wars of counterrevolution and aggression and against nuclear, biological, chemical, missile and other weapons of mass destruction;
  5. Promotion of trade union and other democratic rights of the working class, improvement of wage and living conditions against all forms of intensifying exploitation of labor and the destruction of working class organizations in their pursuit of the historic mission of fighting for social liberation;
  6. Agrarian reform and rights of peasants, farm workers and fisherfolk against feudal, semifeudal and capitalist exploitation and oppression;
  7. The cause of women's liberation and rights against all forms of sexual discrimination, exploitation and violence;
  8. Rights of the youth to education and employment;
  9. Children's rights against child labor, sexual abuse and other forms of exploitation;
  10. Rights of indigenous peoples, national minorities, and nationalities for self-determination and decolonization against discrimination, racism, and national oppression by imperialism and local reaction;
  11. The rights of teachers, researchers and other educational personnel and struggle against ideas and researches directed against the people;
  12. The right of the people to health and the rights of health workers;
  13. Science and technology for the people and development, environmental protection against plunder and pollution and the destruction of the foundations of human life the right to safe and healthy food and water and opposition to manipulation of genetic technology for imperialist profit;
  14. Arts and culture and free flow of information in the service of the people and the rights of artists, creative writers, journalists and other cultural workers against imperialist and reactionary propaganda and oppression;
  15. Justice and indemnification for the victims of illegal arrest and detention (especially political prisoners), violations of due process, torture, extra-judicial executions, disappearances, mass displacement, and other blatant forms of human rights violations.
  16. Rights and welfare of homeless persons, refugees and migrant workers displaced by imperialism and local reactionaries;
  17. Rights of aged people towards a life in dignity and secure existence; and
  18. Rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people against discrimination, intolerance and homophobia.
Aims and Purposes

The ILPS has the following aims and purposes:
  1. To promote a common understanding of the aforementioned concerns and issues,
  2. To stimulate, facilitate and coordinate common lines of action and undertake definite actions on the aforesaid concerns and issues,
  3. To cooperate with all possible organizations, institutions and personages in the attainment of the aims and purposes of the League, and
  4. To raise such resources as to enable the League to realize its aims and purposes and perform its functions.
The activities of the ILPS include the following: advocacy, research, publications, conferences, seminars and social and political action, including mass actions and the coordination thereof.

Theme of TIA in Relation to Current World Conditions

The Third International Assembly (TIA) of the International League of Peoples' Struggle shall convene in Hong Kong on June 18-20, 2008. It shall be held in Asia where most of the oppressed peoples and nations and where the most intense revolutionary struggles are being waged against imperialism and reaction.

The theme of the Third International Assembly is "Strengthen the People's Struggle, Unite to Build a New World against Imperialist Aggression, State Terrorism, Plunder and Social Destruction!" It is a theme of urgent importance because of the acute need of the people to resist the unbridled plunder under the shibboleth of neoliberal globalization and the escalating onslaught of state terrorism and imperialist wars of aggression in the global war of terror unleashed by the US.

The ILPS has played an important and prominent role in the international anti-imperialist struggle. It has been the initiator and the base for many successful international conferences, campaigns and other activities against imperialism and issues involving the various concerns of the ILPS. In this regard, you can get further information from the websites of the ILPS, TIA and the ILPS Chairperson.

As of February 15, 2008, the ILPS has 363 participating organizations in 42 countries plus Hong Kong and Taiwan and seven global regions: East Asia, Oceania, South Asia, Middle East, North America, Latin America and West Africa. We now have some national chapters and global region committees. These are being built along the line of the broad united front of anti-imperialist and democratic struggle.

With imperialist forces wreaking havoc and destruction, the firm response of the people is to unite and fight imperialism and all its reactionary lackeys. The Third International Assembly will discuss and assess the work of the ILPS over the past three years and adopt the plans to further strengthen and expand the ILPS to be able to face the challenges and effectively advance its work in every arena of the anti-imperialist struggle.

Program of Activities of the TIA

Let me acquaint you with the program of activities in the ILPS. The delegations are required to be at the assembly in the afternoon or evening of June 17, 2008 for registration, briefing and accommodation and ascertainment of attendance at the opening of the assembly on June 18, 2008.

In the morning of the first day of the assembly, June 18, Vara Vara Rao, chairperson of the Revolutionary Democratic Front of India, will deliver the keynote speech on the theme of the assembly. The Chairperson and General Secretary of the ILPS will deliver their respective reports.

There will be panel discussions, featuring Prof. Manolis Arkolakis of Greece on US militarism and war, Prof. Haluk Gerger of Turkey on anti-terror laws and human rights, Irene Fernandez of Malaysia on labor and migration and the novelist Arundhati Roy of India on the attacks on rural communities and displacement.

In the afternoon of the first day, the study commissions of concerns Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15 and 17 will hold their respective workshops . In the morning of the second day, June 19, the study commissions of concerns Nos. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 will hold their respective workshops. Every member of a delegation has the opportunity to attend a workshop on the first and second days of the assembly.

Within four hours, each of these workshops will hear the introductions on the concerns and speeches of resource persons, engage in discussions and action planning and pass resolutions, one that is comprehensive and the rest specific. The comprehensive resolution shall become a part of the General Declaration of the assembly.

In the afternoon of the second day, the study commissions will report on their workshops, the procedural rules of the assembly and rules of nomination and election to the International Coordinating Committee shall be presented for deliberation and approval by the plenary and the nominees for membership in the ICC shall be presented to the plenary.

In the morning of the third and final day of the assembly, June 20, the proposed amendments to the Charter of the ILPS, the By-Laws of the ILPS and the General Declaration of the assembly shall be presented for deliberation and approval by the plenary session. In the afternoon, the election of ICC members shall be held, the votes shall be counted publicly and the election results shall be announced.

Every evening after dinner, the delegations shall be able to undertake film shows, short forums on burning issues, country information booths, poetry reading, karaoke or singing sessions, photo exhibits and the display and sale of books, CDs and DVDs, T-shirts with slogans, handicrafts and other souvenirs. Delegates also have the opportunity to use the swimming pool and other sports facilities.

There shall be a final cultural evening of international solidarity on June 20 during which the elected ICC members shall be presented and the delegations present cultural numbers, including songs, dances, poetry, dramatic acts and so on.

All delegates shall leave the assembly site on June 21, with the exception of those who make arrangements with the Host Committee to pay the extra costs of staying, the newly-elected members of the International Coordinating Committee who shall meet for the first time and elect the International Coordinating Group and the study commissions which shall meet further.

Concluding Remarks

I have given you a brief orientation on the ILPS and the TIA. Please get further details not only from me but also from the members of the ICC and representatives of ILPS participating organizations who are with you tonight. You can also visit the websites of the ILPS, TIA and the ILPS Chairperson after tonight.

I urge all the participating organizations of the ILPS in the US to send full delegations to the TIA and all prospective organizations to submit their application for participation in the ILPS as a whole and in the TIA in particular.

Thank you.

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