By S. da Silva
On December 4, 2010, a Montreal meeting, featuring delegates from people’s organizations from Ontario and Quebec, moved towards unifying the anti-imperialist movement in Canada and internationally.
Among the attendees were representatives of Barrio Nuevo, BASICS Community News Service, BAYAN Canada, Centre for Philippine Concerns, Immigrant Workers Centre, International Migrants Alliance, the Movement Against Rape and Incest, Revolutionary Women’s Collective, PINAY Filipino Women’s Organization in Quebec, South Asian Women’s Community Centre, Tadamon! and Women of Diverse Origins.
Our agenda was to discuss the International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS) – its history, structure, and the prospects of organizing a Canadian chapter.
The ILPS’s objective is “to realize the unity, cooperation, and coordination of anti-imperialist and democratic struggles throughout the world” on the basis of its 18 concerns, which include the causes of national liberation, women’s liberation, workers struggles, the rights of indigenous peoples to self-determination, the rights of the aged, children and many more.
The ILPS is an international formation of more than 350 organizations from 40 countries promoting, supporting and developing anti-imperialist struggles of the peoples of the world.
What distinguishes the ILPS from many other international formations is that its participant organizations are genuine people’s organizations. This is in contrast with the government-sponsored and corporate-funded NGOs and the like that make up the bulk of participants in many other international formations.
The ILPS was formed in 2001 at its first International Assembly in the Netherlands, where its current Chairperson, revolutionary Filipino leader Jose Maria Sison, has been exiled since the late 1980s.
Within the ten years of its founding, the ILPS has developed into an impressive and expanding international alliance of organizations.
The ILPS can count among its achievements spearheading the creation of new international anti-imperialist alliances on the migrants’ and women’s fronts.
In 2008, the International Migrants Alliance was formed in Manila, Philippines with its founding International Assembly of Migrants and Refugees. Its annual assembly has provided a venue for migrants and refugees to challenge the positions of the concurrently held U.N. Global Forum on Migration and Development.
In August 2010, hundreds of delegates from around the world gathered for the Montreal International Women’s Conference, which concluded with the founding of the International Women’s Alliance.
While the formidable people’s struggles of the Philippines have served as a centre of gravity for the development of the international united-front that is the ILPS, the more than 350 organizations that now populate its ranks attest to the growing realization of the necessity to unite anti-imperialists on an international level.
The rebellions that have rocked the Middle East in past few weeks are only the most recent signs of a world struggling to break with imperialist globalization.
The Montreal delegates to the December 4 meeting constituted a Coordinating Committee (CC) and committed to a six month timeline for launching ILPS-Canada and to prepare member organizations for the 4th International Assembly of the ILPS in the Philippines in July 2011.
The CC has published an Interim Unity Statement to unite Canadian organizations to build ILPS-Canada. All those interested in learning more about the ILPS can visit www.ilps.info or www.basicsnews.ca.