21 anti-imperialist organizations from across Canada

unite to form ILPS-Canada Chapter
 

TorontoI

 

May 21, 2011

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Photos courtesy of ILPS Canada
           

 

THE URGENCY AND SIGNIFICANCE OF FOUNDING ILPS-CANADA
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
21 May 2011

Dear Colleagues and Friends, thank you for inviting me as the keynote speaker. As chairperson of the International Coordinating Committee, I convey to you the warmest greetings of the entire International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS).

All member-organizations of the ILPS wholeheartedly welcome and applaud the founding of the ILPS-Canada as a national chapter.We congratulate all the Canadian member-organizations for the success of their preparatory work.

We are grateful for the steadfast and fruitful participation of the Canadian member-organizations of ILPS in the assemblies, campaigns and activities initiated, organized or coordinated by the ILPS during the last ten years. You have a major share in making the ILPS the strongest global alliance of anti-imperialist and democratic forces.

The founding of ILPS-Canada is a culmination of your contributions to the advance of the anti-imperialist and democratic mass movement in Canada and the whole world. It is a major contribution to the celebration of the tenth founding anniversary of the ILPS.

We are deeply pleased that the founding of the ILPS-Canada comes as a consolidation of all member-organizations from the west coast to the east and opens the way to further expansion and a higher level of unity, coordination and militancy in developing an anti-imperialist and democratic mass movement in Canada.

Your draft Constitution is in consonance with the general principles, concerns, aims and purposes and organizational structure of the ILPS as laid down in its Charter. At the same time, it takes into account the concrete conditions of Canada, the needs and demands of the Canadian people of various nationalities.

We are confident that the ILPS-Canada will develop at a faster rate than before as an anti-imperialist and democratic coalition of organizations that take up the concerns and issues of the workers, farmers, youth, indigenous peoples, professionals and other sectors of society against the economic, political, military, social and cultural domination and attacks of imperialism and reaction.

We are united with you and support you in all the struggles that you have spelled out in your statement of aims in your draft Constitution. We appreciate your clear-sightedness about the key issues that you must pay attention to.

We stand with you in defending the workers’ right to organize and unionize and to give special attention to winning full rights for all migrant workers, including temporary “foreign” workers, seasonal agricultural workers, live-in caregivers, workers who are victims of trafficking and undocumented workers.

We support you in defending civil rights and democratic liberties, including freedom from police harassment, profiling and brutality which target particularly racialized communities, indigenous people and working class youth. We are vigorously against chauvinism, xenophobia, racism and fascism.

We struggle against all forms of national oppression, dispossession, and impoverishment of indigenous peoples. We stand for the right to self-determination and we fight for national and social liberation. We are for gender equality and the liberation of women from exploitation, male chauvinist domination and oppression by capitalism and imperialism.

We fight vigorously against the rise of unemployment, the deterioration of wage and living conditions, the erosion of social benefits and social services, the rising costs of basic goods and services, We struggle for the improvement of public services, including health, education, housing, childcare, and transport. We oppose the privatization of public utilities and services.

We oppose the “War on Terror” in Canada as elsewhere in the world. This has whipped up racial profiling, unjust deportations, criminalization of people’s resistance and discrimination against people of colour, migrants in general, new immigrants and indigenous communities.

We are against the marginalization, persecution and criminalization of refugees and asylum seekers who flee state terror, imperialist aggression and national oppression. We are especially concerned with the plight of the Tamils, Palestinians and other people escaping repressive regimes which enjoy the support of the Canadian government.

We support you in promoting the peace with justice movement and demanding the dismantling of US foreign military bases. We oppose Canada’s role as a global supplier of military equipment and materiel.

We support your demand for the end Canada’s participation in all imperialist wars, the homecoming of Canadian military and police personnel from all zones of foreign occupation (particularly Haiti and Afghanistan) and the withdrawal of Canada from all imperialist military alliances, including NATO and NORAD.

We oppose the Canadian state’s active support for the Israeli state’s aggression, expansion and furthering of imperialist objectives. We support the Palestinian peoples’ struggle for their homeland, liberty and justice and their campaign boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Zionist Israel.

We endorse your demand against the dismantling of Canada’s industrial base under the US-dictated policy of neoliberal globalization. At the same time, we oppose Canada’s use of so-called “free trade agreements” to open the door to other countries for plunder by Canadian monopoly firms.

We are against Canada’s use of tied aid within and outside the frames of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and other global agencies to promote and support its imperialist interests. We oppose the role of Canadian mining companies in plundering mineral resources abroad, trampling on the rights of the peoples, particularly the indigenous populations, and wreaking massive environmental destruction.

We defend the natural environment against destruction and pollution by the US and other imperialist powers. We oppose the development of the nuclear power and nuclear waste industries and we support total nuclear disarmament through the scrapping of all nuclear weapons.

We commend your determination to promote and carry forward the anti-imperialist and democratic struggles in Canada and to support those of the people of the world, particularly throughout the Americas.

We appreciate your support for the International Migrants Alliance, the International Women’s Alliance, RESIST! (International people’s campaign to confront crisis and war) and other ILPS-sponsored formations and initiatives.

We agree with your proposed campaign for the decriminalization of the people’s struggle for liberation and self-determination. This campaign will serve to unify the struggles of the anti-imperialist people’s organizations with those of the indigenous peoples and other nationalities.

You must struggle resolutely and militantly in order to stop the continuing attack on democratic rights being carried out under the Anti-Terrorism Act, a piece of legislation which introduced amendments to numerous other laws, including the Criminal Code, the Official Secrets Act, the Canada Evidence Act, the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) Act, the Income Tax Act, and others.

It is fascism for the executive department and its intelligence agents to be able to criminalize groups on mere suspicion that they are involved in what is loosely defined as terrorist activity. This is supposed to include any violent act committed with a political goal, irrespective of the context. It also conflates legitimate people’s resistance with dictatorial and oppressive regimes.

The so-called anti-terror laws have provided a sweeping basis for witch hunt and for the criminalization of the people, their struggles and the liberation organizations like those of the people of Colombia, El Salvador, Kurdistan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Somalia, and Tamil Eelam.

Under the pretext of anti-terrorism, Canada has supported the regimes in Israel, Colombia, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines, which systematically engage in state terrorism. The so-called war on terror has given the US imperialists and their allies the license to engage in wars of aggression and state terrorism in order to suppress the peoples resisting neoliberal globalization all across the world.

We appreciate that the campaign is aimed at uniting the broad masses of the people under the banner of anti-imperialism and democracy and at asserting the peoples right to national and social liberation in Canada and throughout the world. We also appreciate that the campaign is not limited to legalistic liberal-democratic challenges to the rulers but is aimed mainly at developing the political struggle for the people to realize their aspirations for liberation and just peace.

We agree with the ILPS-Canada’s description of Canada as a capitalist-imperialist society, with its large corporations deriving much of their wealth from the exploitation of labour and plunder of resources from all around the world as well as from the continuing colonization of indigenous people’s treaty lands and the plunder of their resources. It is necessary to unite the global anti-imperialist struggles with the anti-colonial self-determination struggles of indigenous peoples throughout Canada.

The founding of the ILPS-Canada is timely and highly significant in the face of the persistent and ever worsening crisis of the world capitalist system. The financial oligarchy and the entire monopoly bourgeoisie have become more rapacious and repressive than ever before.

They continue to maximize profits by pressing down wages, appropriating public funds and manipulating the financial markets. The more they pass on the burden of crisis to the working people, the more they use the means of mass deception and mass coercion to preempt, prevent and suppress the rising resistance of the people. The people must stand up and fight the exploiters and oppressors.

The ILPS-Canada is urgently needed to focus on the problems of the Canadian people and organize popular resistance in Canada as well as to participate actively in the campaigns and activities initiated or joined by the ILPS against the global system of imperialist plunder and war.

ILPS-Canada must always do the best it can to arouse, organise and mobilize the people of Canada in order to uphold, defend and promote their rights and interests and contribute to common understanding, solidarity and cooperation among the people’s organizations in Canada, across the region and throughout the world.

Long live ILPS-Canada!

Advance the peoples’ struggle for national and social liberation!

Long live the ILPS!

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21 anti-imperialist organizations from across Canada unite to form ILPS-Canada Chapter
May 27, 2011 Intn'l, Local, Migrant . www.BASICSnews.ca

by Kabir Joshi-Vijayan, Steve da Silva, and Malcolm Guy

Toronto, Ontario, May 21, 2011 — Seventy delegates and observers representing nearly two dozen organizations from across Canada came together to launch the Canadian chapter of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS). Taking place at the Centre for Spanish Speaking People in Toronto, delegates from Montreal, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto held a daylong conference to discuss future campaigns of the ILPS, finalize a constitution, and elect delegates to a Coordinating Committee.

It was a major step forward for anti-imperialist unity in Canada in the midst of growing popular struggles around the globe from North Africa to the Middle East and from India to the Philippines and beyond and in the face of an aggressive and war-mongering new majority Conservative government at home, the opening declaration stated.

The organizations present represented groups from the Latin American, South Asian and South-East Asian communities, along with media collectives and community arts and workers’ organizations. The groups included: Anakbayan, Barrio Nuevo, BASICS Community News Service, BAYAN Canada, Casa Salvador Allende, the Centre d’Appui aux Philippines – Centre for Philippine Concerns, Canada-Philippine Solidarity for Human Rights, Damayan Manitoba, Filipino Migrant Workers Movement, Filipino Workers Solidarity Group, Immigrant Workers Centre, Gabriela-Ontario, Canada South Asia Solidarity Alliance, Migrante-Canada, Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, Philippine Advocacy Through Arts and Culture, PINAY – Filipino Women’s Organization in Quebec, Proletarian Revolutionary Action Committee, PSG, Toronto Haiti Action Committee, Tamil Resource Centre, Femmes de Diverses Origines – Women of Diverse Origins, and the Women United Against Imperialism.

Ten years on, and on the eve of the ILPS’s 4th International Assembly in July 2011 in Manila, Philippines, the ILPS continues to grow across the world, with distinct chapters in Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong & Macau, Australia, and now Canada.

The delegates decided that their first coordinated campaign to build the anti-imperialist movement in Canada will be a struggle for the decriminalization of people’s struggles for self-determination and liberation that are targeted and criminalized by the Canadian state in its bogus “War on Terror”. Delegates raised concerns that Canada’s “War of Terror” was targeting organizations and whole populations that are involved in genuine struggles for liberation against illegitimate regimes, the policies of neoliberal globalization, and state terror in Colombia, El Salvador, Kurdistan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Somalia, Tamil Eelam and elsewhere.

There was also a consensus among participants around the need to extend and build anti-imperialist unity with indigenous peoples and nations in Canada who are also confronting Canadian imperialism through their own anti-colonial struggles. However, the delegates were under no illusions about how such tasks were going to be achieved. The text of the main campaign insisted that mere liberal democratic struggles against the criminalization would not suffice to confront Canadian imperialism; rather, confronting the systemic roots of this attack on basic democratic rights as well as building the mass struggle was necessary.


Chairperson of the ILPS and revolutionary Filipino leader, Jose Maria Sison, addressed the ILPS-Canada conference live from Skype, taking questions from participants.

The Chairperson of the ILPS, Jose Maria Sison – long-time revolutionary leader of the revolutionary movement in the Philippines who is currently living in exile in the Netherlands – addressed the meeting via Skype. Prof Sison accurately summed up the issues and concerns facing poor, working-class, racialized and native people in Canada. Sison put forward the need for confronting these contradictions at home, as well as extending solidarity to both indigenous communities and those resisting Canadian imperialism overseas, particularly in Afghanistan and Haiti.

Official delegates, after a lively discussion, finalized a Constitution for ILPS-Canada and elected a country-wide Coordinating Committee. The seven members elected are:

Diwa Marcelino of Damayan Manitoba (Winnipeg)
Erie Maestro of Canada-Philippine Solidarity for Human Rights (Vancouver)
Leanne Wilkins of Women United Against Imperialism (Toronto)
Steve da Silva of BASICS Community News Service (Toronto)
Magdalena Diaz of Casa Salvador Allende (Toronto)
Kelti Cameron of Ontario Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (Ottawa)
Malcolm Guy of the Immigrant Workers Centre (Montreal)
In addition to main decriminalization of liberation campaign, delegates came to a consensus on the need to focus on three issues in particular: (1) Establishing concrete links with indigenous struggles for self-determination against Canadian imperialism; (2) Confronting the Canadian mining sector and the ecological catastrophes, colonial plunder, and human rights abuses associated with it throughout Canada and across the world; and (3) to put up resistance to the new reactionary immigration reforms that the Conservative majority will push through (including Bill C-49) which will target and criminalize refugees.

The day’s conference was followed by a solidarity fundraiser, with plenty of dancing to Latin American, Arabic, and South Asian beats, hosted by BASICS Community News Service to help raise funds to send delegates to the 4th International Assembly of the ILPS in the Philippines in July 2011.

Any people’s organization that supports one of the 18 Concerns of the International League of People’s Struggles (available here) and agrees to abide by the Constitution and Charter of the ILPS and ILPS-Canada may join. Contact one of the member organizations or e-mail us at ilps.canada[at]gmail.com For more information visit www.ilps-canada.ca, www.ilps.info.

More ILPS-Canada pictures go to: https://picasaweb.google.com/migrantecanada/ILPSCanadaLaunch#
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