By the ILPS International Coordinating Committee
21 June 2008
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) successfully held its Third International Assembly (TIA) from June 18 to 20, 2008 in Hong Kong. The assembly carried the theme, “Strengthen the peoples’ struggle, unite to build a new world against imperialist aggression, state terrorism, plunder and social destruction!”
Two hundred sixty-five (265) participants representing 165 peoples’ organizations attended the assembly. They came from 30 countries namely: Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Burma, Canada, China (including Hong Kong SAR and Taiwan province), Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, The Netherlands, Turkey, Korea, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States.
The assembly commenced with the singing of the ILPS hymn. Manolis Arkolakis, ILPS Deputy Chairperson then welcomed the delegates.
GN Saibaba, deputy General Secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) of India read the keynote address of the designated keynote speaker distinguished poet Varavara Rao who could not join the assembly in person because he was denied permission to travel by the Indian authorities. In his speech Varavara Rao underscored the theme of the TIA as “most relevant and urgent in the context of growing imperialist military attacks and unbridled plunder of the resources, labor and markets of oppressed countries.” He further said, “ILPS has grown into a massive league of anti-imperialist, revolutionary democratic forces the world over. It has emerged as the centre of oppressed nations and people by bringing together the struggles of all continents on the globe.”
Prof. Jose Maria Sison, chairperson of the International Coordinating Committee (ICC), gave his report by internet video. He cited the most significant achievements and shortcomings of the ILPS since the SIA, the favorable conditions for further strengthening the ILPS, the challenges and urgent tasks. General Secretary Arman Riazi also gave his report giving further details of ILPS achievements and underlining the bright prospects in further strengthening and building the ILPS. Discussions followed the reports.
A number of amendments to the charter were proposed and approved to reflect the current realities and future prospects in further strengthening the ILPS as a political center of the peoples’ anti-imperialist and democratic struggles.
A fitting tribute was given to Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran, the founding chairperson of the ILPS, who passed away on May 20, 2008 with a short speech from ILPS Chairperson Jose Maria Sison and the showing of a short video of “Ka Bel”.
A panel of distinguished speakers spoke before the plenary session of the assembly. The speech on “Neoliberal Globalization and Labor” which was to be delivered by “Ka Bel” was read by ICC member Elmer C. Labog. Manolis Arkolakis spoke on “US Militarism and War”. Haluk Gerger spoke on “Anti-terror Laws and Human Rights”. Irene Fernandez spoke on “Labor and Migration”. GN Saibaba spoke on “Forced Displacement and Rural Communities in India”. And Wahu Kaara spoke on “African People’s Resistance to Imperialist Globalization.” Arundhati Roy who could not be personally present sent a contribution entitled “Attacks on Rural Communities and Displacement.” A lively open forum followed.
Workshops were held on the 18 concerns. They featured prominent resource persons and produced comprehensive and specific resolutions with highly important information and analysis as well as urgent calls to action.
The General Declaration of the TIA included as main text the aforesaid comprehensive resolutions and was approved by the plenary session after principled and vigorous discussions.
The Declaration said: “Today, the world monopoly capitalist system is caught up in one of its biggest crises since the Great Depression. This is principally due to the unraveling of the imperialist policies of ‘neoliberal globalization’ and ‘global war on terror’. The US, which is the core of the system, is afflicted by a grave economic and financial crisis and is generating waves of economic and social ruin in all imperialist countries, in the largest so-called emerging markets and worse than ever before in the general run of semi-colonies and dependent countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America…In the face of the intensified exploitation and oppression by the imperialists and their reactionary puppets, the people have intensified their resistance… The daily worsening conditions of oppression and exploitation require the ILPS to intensify its efforts to arouse, organize and mobilize the people in their millions in building a new and better world of greater freedom, development, social justice and global peace.”
A new ICC was elected composed of 27 regular members and 8 alternate members. In its very first meeting, on 21 June 2008, the newly-elected ICC elected its officers to compose the International Coordinating Group (ICG) and made several important decisions for the ICG and the General Secretariat to implement for the reinvigoration of the ILPS as well as in preparation for the next ICC meeting later this year or early next year.
The ICC elected the following:
As ICC chairperson, Prof. Jose Maria Sison, chairperson of International Network of Philippine Studies, Netherlands; as Deputy Chairperson, GN Saibaba from the Revolutionary Democratic Front of India; as Deputy Chairperson for Internal Affairs, Dr. Carol P. Araullo, chairperson of BAYAN, Philippines; as Deputy Chairperson for External Affairs, Manolis Arkolakis from the Committee Against Military Bases and Dependency of Greece; as General Secretary, Arman Riazi from the Democratic Antiimperialist Organization of Iranians in Great Britain; as First Deputy General Secretary, Elmer Labog, chairman of Kilusang Mayo Uno of the Philippines; as Second Deputy General Secretary, Aliyah Brunner of Umut Publications of Austria; as Treasurer, Theo Droog from Nederlands-Filippijnse Solidariteitsbeweging of The Netherlands; and as Auditor, Malcolm Guy, founding member of the Immigrant Workers Centre from Canada.###