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January 2005

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CPA Attends ILPS Second International Assembly

Published in the Hapit (October 2004-March 2005 Issue)

Three years after the successful founding of the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS) on May 2001, the ILPS convened for its Second International Assembly (SIA). The ILPS-SIA was successfully held on November 11-13, 2004 in Eindhoven, The Netherlands in a very cold season. The Cordillera Peoples Alliance (CPA) is one of the founding members of the League of responsible for the specific concern of indigenous peoples, national minorities and nationalities.

The assembly carried the theme, "Advance the people's solidarity and struggle for liberation and democracy against imperialist plunder and war." As the broad international anti-imperialist and democratic formations, ILPS is faced with the challenge to address the great changes in the world situation after the First International Assembly (FIA). The global economic crisis under imperialism continues to devastate countries. The September 11, 2001 attack set the stage for US imperialism's wars of plunder and aggression. Its invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq; its continuing intervention in the internal affairs of other countries are concrete manifestations of the brutality and viciousness of imperialism against nations and peoples of the world. In response, the people's protests and movements have been on the rise throughout the globe.

The SIA was attended by two hundred and forty (24) delegates from 33 countries. They represented 136 participating organizations of the ILPS. There were also observers who represented 39 other organizations as well as those who came individually. The participating and observing organizations came from the various global regions like Asia, Africa, Latin America, North America, Europe and Oceania.

While there were participants from all of the global regions, the turn-out could have been better were it not for the concerted denial of the Dutch, Belgian and other European governments of the visa applications of many delegates from the Philippines, Nigeria, Nepal, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Many of the representatives of the allied organizations of BAYAN were denied visas, including two of CPA delegates who had other travel itinerary in addition to participation in the SIA. Consequently, only the CPA General Secretary Windel Bolinget was able to attend. On this point, the newly-constituted International Coordinating Committee (ICC) and the individuals concerned filed protests over the denial of visa application of lawful travelers on undemocratic grounds.

The SIA-ILPS Chairperson Crispin Beltran formally opened the assembly. Then the General Secretary Arman Riazi welcomed the delegates. The General Consultant Prof. Jose Maria Sison delivered the keynote speech, where he described the global context of imperialist plunder and war and called for people's solidarity and struggle for liberation and democracy. Chairperson Beltran delivered his report on the ILPS record of struggle in the last three years. Messages of solidarity from various organizations were also read. The Rules of Participation, Rules of Procedure and Rules of Nomination and Election to the ICC were discussed and approved by a majority vote of the assembly. A few amendments to the ILPS charter were deliberated and ratified.

Workshops on the 18 concerns of the ILPS were held simultaneously. They discussed and proposed amendments to the sections pertinent to them in the draft of the SIA General Declaration. The debating delegations stood by their principles but were able to exercise flexibility in arriving at commonly acceptable propositions. Upon the ratification of the declaration, the assembly was unanimous that a higher level of unity was achieved through the debate.

The tenth concern is on the rights of indigenous peoples, national minorities and nationalities for self-determination and de-colonization against discrimination, racism and national oppression by imperialism and local reaction. From the FIA, CPA is the lead organization for this concern. As such, CPA prepared and organized the workshop on indigenous peoples and national minorities at the SIA. CPA discussed a powerpoint presentation entitled "Imperialist Globalization and War: Implications to Indigenous Peoples" which was followed by interventions from the participants. The workshop was attended by 15 participants from India, Turkey, Philippines and US. After which, the Workshop group discussed the 10th Concern of the Draft Declaration.

The assembly elected the 27 regular members and 8 alternate members of the International Coordinating Committee (ICC) composed of leaders and representatives of mass formations in their respective countries. While the delegations held a cultural solidarity night to celebrate the success of the assembly, the newly-elected ICC convened and elected as its officers the following:
Prof. Jose Maria Sison as Chairperson,
Manolis Arkolakis as Deputy Chairperson,
Metin Atak as First Deputy Chairperson for Internal Affairs,
Dr. Carol P. Araullo as Deputy Chairperson for External Affairs,
Arman Riazi as General Secretary,
Jan Beentjes as Treasurer, and
Elmer Labog as Auditor
They comprise the International Coordinating Group.

This international event served to strengthen the ILPS as a global formation of anti-imperialist struggles amidst the intensifying crisis and onslaught of imperialism and the growing people's resistance worldwide. It also sustained the formation, expansion and consolidation of the study commissions and working committees on the 18 concerns of League.

CPA's participation to the ILPS-SIA and its work ahead on the 10th concern is an obligation and contribution to the international struggle against imperialism alongside our task against the local reactionary system and national oppression. It was also a great learning experience and international opportunity to meet with militant mass movements from various countries.# Windel Bolinget

Published with financial contribution from the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation
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