posted by editor – 25 May, 2002
Statement of Crispin Beltran, Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples' Struggle, On the first anniversary of the establishment of the ILPS
The International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS) celebrates its first anniversary of struggle against imperialism and reaction with great satisfaction and optimism but also mindful of the fact that long and hard struggles still lie ahead. We are delighted over the fruitful first year of militant anti-imperialist actions and we pledge to work and fight even harder to uphold, defend and promote the rights and interests of the people for national freedom, democracy and social liberation.
The League was founded in the First International Assembly held in Zutphen, Netherlands on May 25-27, 2001. In that First International Assembly, 339 delegates and guests attended, representing 232 mass organizations from 40 countries of Asia, Africa, Oceania, North America, South America, Middle East and Europe.
The founding of the League responds to the fervent aspirations of the peoples' of the world for national and social liberation against imperialism and all reaction. Its founding was in response to the growing demand for closer coordination of peoples' struggles throughout the world against the new onslaught on the world's peoples by imperialism and its reactionary lackeys in client countries.
Since the 70's, the imperialists led by the US, have pushed so-called neoliberal policies under the banner of “free-market globalization” in the wake of the failure of Keynesianism to cope with the worsening crisis of the world capitalist system. This “free market globalization” has meant the most rapacious plunder of the world's natural and social wealth by imperialism and a new offensive against the livelihood and democratic rights of the working masses.
“Free market” globalization has meant unbridled superprofit-taking and accelerated concentration and centralization of capital in a few industrial capitalist countries and among the biggest monopoly capitalists. “Liberalization” has meant clearing the field for the unbridled pillage of the economies of countries by the most powerful monopoly firms; “deregulation” has meant the unregulated plunder of markets and repatriation of profits by the monopoly firms; and “privatization” has meant the unmitigated theft of public funds and resources by the monopoly bourgeoisie.
But for the workers and other oppressed classes, it has meant the reduction of the wage fund, mass unemployment, cut backs on social benefits, the loss of hard-won rights, job insecurity and destruction of their livelihood. In short, more intensified exploitation and oppression and more misery for all the working people.
In the aftermath of the September 11 events in the US, the imperialists and their reactionary lackeys in client countries have launched a new offensive against the people's democratic rights under the pretext of waging “war against terrorism”. The US has seized on the September 11 events to wage aggressive wars and thereby accomplish their geopolitical objectives to establish control of strategic areas in the Middle East, Central Asia and Southeast Asia. It has also taken the lead in imposing draconian measures that further infringe on the democratic rights of the people and to suppress any opposition to their anti-people policies.
But where there is exploitation and oppression, there is resistance. And the people have resisted and fought back.
The League traces its roots to the resurgent movement against imperialist globalization exemplified by the anti-APEC mobilization in Manila in 1996, the People's Anti-imperialist Globalization Campaign (PCAIG) in Vancouver in 1997, the Battle in Seattle in 1999, the Peoples' Assembly against the IMF-WB in Washington D.C. in 2000, the anti-WEF actions in Melbourne and Davos among others.
Since its founding, the ILPS has participated in major anti-imperialist and democratic mass actions in many parts of the world. The League has become an active instrument against imperialist globalization and war. Participating organizations of the League have raised the ILPS flag against imperialist globalization and war in many international and national mass actions.
Among these were the protest actions during the G8 Summit in Genoa in July, protest actions in Amsterdam and London against the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, the D14 Campaign against the EU Brussels summit, the Social Summit in Porto Alegre, Brazil, the WTO meeting in Doha, mass actions in many countries around the world against the US war of aggression in Afghanistan and the mass actions in Washington D.C. and San Francisco last April 20 against the latest US-supported Israeli attacks against the Palestinian people (Please fill in some more mass actions that have been omitted).
Because of their work in defense of the people, two officials of the League have been arrested. Memik Horoz, deputy chairperson of the League, was arrested by the Turkish authorities in June 2001 shortly after he returned from the founding assembly of the League. He is still in prison on trumped-up charges. The League has launched an international campaign for his release and for the defense of the rights of political prisoners in Turkey who suffer from inhuman treatment from the Turkish government.
Dr. Darshan Pal, a member of the International Coordinating Committee of the ILPS and President of the All India People's Resistance Front (AIPRF), was arrested on May 3, 2002 together with other leaders of progressive mass organizations who were on a fact-finding mission in Haryana to investigate the mass arrests and severe repression against the Bharatiya Kisan Union and peasants in Haryana.
Participating organizations of the League in the Philippines held international conferences on migrants' rights in November 2001 and on workers' rights in May 2002. These conferences were held under the joint auspices of the Philippine mass organizations and the ILPS. These conferences were attended by delegations representing progressive mass organizations from Asia, Canada, US and Europe.
An international conference on women is planned in November 2002 in Vancouver, Canada. A youth festival is also set to be held in November in Athens in coordination with Greek participating organizations. Such conferences and events are opportunities for attracting more anti-imperialist and democratic organizations into the League.
The International Coordinating Group is in the process of drawing up the plans for conferences to ratify major resolutions that will serve as the basis for the ILPS General Declaration and to elect the members of permanent study commissions on the 18 concerns of the League.
Cognizant of the great and difficult tasks ahead, the ILPS is ever more committed to intensify its efforts to arouse, organize and mobilize the broad masses of the people to fight imperialist globalization and war. The League will strive harder to attract more anti-imperialist and democratic organizations in many more countries and continents. It will have to exert more effort in carrying out political education, conducting mass campaigns and in linking up and uniting with other progressive forces in order to build a broad anti-imperialist solidarity and international united front for the national and social liberation of the people.