By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman, Communist Party of the Philippines
Chairman, International Network for Philippine Studies
General Consultant, International League for Peoples’ Struggle
Auditorium P. E. Jansen, Universite Libre de Bruxelles
15 December 2001
Fellow activists and friends,
From the people’s organizations in the Philippines and from the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, I convey to all of you militant greetings of solidarity!
I am glad to be in Brussels to witness and to be among the workers, youth, women and other people engaged in mass actions from 13 December onward in order to uphold their democratic rights and demand a better world.
I am honored to speak at this international meeting of solidarity with the people who struggle for justice and peace, against imperialist globalization and imperialist wars of aggression.
In accordance with my assignment, let me focus on the suffering, struggles and aspirations of the people of the third world.
The people of the third world constitute the overwhelming majority of the people of the world. They suffer the most acute forms of oppression and exploitation inflicted by the imperialists and the local reactionaries. They provide the cheap labor and the cheap raw materials, they absorb the surplus goods and the surplus capital and thereby yield superprofits to the imperialists.
By using the catchphrase “free market” globalization, the imperialists have accelerated their profit-taking from the third world and have devastated their economies. The multinational firms have used liberalization, privatization and deregulation to plunder human and natural resources and have placed the people under the crushing weight of the current global recession.
The people suffer impoverishment, mass unemployment, falling incomes, rising prices of basic goods, lack of such basic social services as medical care, education and housing, the degradation of women and the destruction of the environment. They are made to shoulder the costs of the bankruptcies, the budgetary and trade deficits, the foreign debt and devaluation of the currency. The economic ills kill people in large numbers. This is the daily violence of exploitation.
The people resist the imperialists and local reactionaries at first spontaneously and then in a conscious and organized way. In reaction to the growing protests of the people, especially the workers and peasants, the puppet regimes are escalating repression and their imperialist masters, especially the US, are unleashing wars of aggression as in Iraq, the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan.
The US, European and Japanese imperialists are grandscale terrorists. They have committed monstrous acts of terror in the course of their interimperialist global wars and wars of aggression. Yet they have the gall to call the people waging revolution, the nations fighting for liberation and the countries asserting national independence as terrorists. They have gone so far as to witchhunt and repress their own nationals and immigrants by arbitrarily calling them terrorists.
As one who comes form the Philippines and Asia, I am keenly aware of the fact that the biggest terrorist in the entire history of mankind is US imperialism. It has been responsible for massacring and causing the death of millions of people in a long series of aggressive wars and campaigns of open terror, especially in Asia.
The US conquest of the Philippines involved the genocidal killing of 700,000 or one-tenth of the Filipino people at the beginning of the 20th century. Then, there were the massacres of millions in the wars of aggression against the Korean and the Vietnamese peoples. Remember all these as you look at how the imperialists are now murdering the people in Palestine and Afghanistan.
The people of the third world are waging all forms of struggle against oppression and exploitation. They undertake protest mass actions and wage revolutionary armed struggles. In the country from where I come, the people wage both legal and armed forms of struggle.
Like other peoples of the third world, they aspire for national liberation, democracy, social justice, peace and all-round progress. These can be attained only by fighting and ending the domination of the imperialists and the local reactionaries.
The people of the third world and the people of industrial capitalist countries need to unite and fight against imperialism, their common enemy. The revolutionary strength of the people in one part of the world redounds to the benefit of those in other parts of the world. All the people of the world aspire and strive for a world that is free, progressive, just and peaceful.
We are confident that we shall have a better future because the people are rising up as the imperialists and their agents escalate oppression and exploitation. The reign of greed and terror is what precisely incites the people to defend themselves and fight for a better world.
The general direction is for the mass struggles within countries, global regions and the world as a whole to reach higher levels of consciousness, militancy and revolutionary achievement. To carry forward such general direction, the International League for Peoples’ Struggle has been founded this year.
I take this opportunity to invite your mass organizations to join the International League for Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), which is a broad democratic alliance. At the minimum, the ILPS seeks to cooperate with your organizations in acting on all major concerns of the people of the world.
Let us all march together for a just peace and a better world against imperialist globalization and wars.
No Euro for war!
Stop the war of the rich versus the poor!
US and Europe out of Afghanistan!
NATO No, Euro Army No!
Solidarity with the Palestinian people!