Issued by the sponsors of the book launch of Pro. Jose Maria Sison’s Combat Neoliberal Globalization
July 17, 2017


Professor Jose Maria Sison gamely joined young cultural activists in performing his poem “The Guerrilla is Like a Poet, by singing and reciting the poem while the other cultural performers act out the poem.

This was the highlight of the book launch of Professor Sison’s latest book Combat Neoliberal Globalization (Volume 3 of Selected Writings 2009-2015) and renewed distribution of the book of poems titled, The Guerrilla is Like a Poet, last July 15, 2017 at the Nassaukerk Social Hall in Amsterdam.

Solidarity activists and several compatriots have noted that Professor Sison seldom reads and performs his own poetry in public performances, and his performance during the booklaunch was a rare peek into his poetic and thespian skills.

Unknown to many, Professor Sison has also been a devoted theater artist who has worked with the likes of Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal during his years at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. Sison is currently nominated as National Artist for Literature by the Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP).

During the book launch, Yasmin Ahmed, a young activist of the Revolutionaire Eenheid of the Netherlands stressed the importance of Sison’s books in understanding current global events and social, economic and political conditions obtaining not only in the Philippines but also in imperialist countries like the Netherlands.

Ahmed specifically noted the inclusion of statements and letters of condolences and solidarity in Sison’s latest book. She said those statements are not only expressions of grief and solidarity of the author but more importantly an expression of utmost recognition of the contributions of those fallen individuals to the anti-imperialist struggle and to the creation of a world without exploitation and oppression.

Marlon Lacsamana, LGBTQ activist and member of Migrante Den Haag, noted in his review of Sison’s The Guerrilla is Like a Poet, that one has to go through the book to discover what is hidden inside. Like the guerrillas, he said, they are hidden but you know they are there fighting for social justice.

“A guerrilla will continue to fight until injustice is eliminated, and a poet will continue to write until he runs out of inspiration. The people are the inspiration to which the guerrilla will fight, and the poet will write, Lacsamana concluded.

In his brief remarks, Professor Sison gave his audience an overview of the current events and the global capitalist crisis. This has been brought about by neoliberal globalization and the incessant wars unleashed by the US and its NATO allies since the years of 1989 to 1991 when revisionist ruling cliques rapidly, openly and fully restored capitalism in their countries and the Soviet Union collapsed.

He pointed out the intensification of the inter-imperialist contradictions and the struggle for a redivision of the world because of the emergence and rise of China and Russia as capitalist powers. This has resulted in further economic and financial crises and wars and the further strategic decline of the US.

He declared that these conditions cause intolerable suffering and drive the people to resist imperialism and all reaction and strive for national, democracy and socialism. Thus, the world is now in transition to the resurgence and advance of the revolutionary proletariat and oppressed peoples and nations in the anti-imperialist movement and world proletarian revolution.

On the political situation in the Philippines, Sison said the Duterte government is buffeted by a worsening crisis of the ruling system and is accountable for aggravating this crisis. He noted that Duterte has not realized any substantial economic and social policy changes for the better in his one year in office, and has continued to renege on his political promises, specifically to respect agreements inked in the peace negotiations, like the agreement on human rights and international humanitarian law, by not releasing political prisoners.

On the matter of peace talks, Professor Sison stressed that the NDFP continues to be open to the peace process and for continuing the peace talks. He however specifically noted as negative and nonconducive to peace negotiations Duterte’s threat to proclaim martial law nationwide and the continuing carpet bombings of many communities in northern Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao that have killed many people and have displaced entire communities. He said that because of these the NDFP needs to do tough talking in the upcoming back channel talks between the GRP and NDFP scheduled in the Netherlands.

Many in the audience lined up to have their books signed by Professor Sison at the conclusion of the book launch.

The book launch was organized by Migrante Den Haag, Kabalikat, MKSP, Pinay sa Holland Gabriela, Revolutionaire Eenheid, Anakbayan Europe, Linangan Arts and Culture Network, Migrante Amsterdam, ICCHRP, FREN and NFS.#
For reference:

Mitchy Mallorca Saturay
Linangan Arts and Culture Network
[email protected]

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