Feb 13th NYC: Jose Maria Sison Book Launching, “Portrait of a Freedom Fighter”

Portrait of a Freedom Fighter
A Book Launching of the Selected Writings of Jose Maria Sison Vols. 1-4

Monday, February 13, 7-9pm
Bluestockings Bookstore

172 Allen Street (between Stanton and Rivington)
New York, New York 10002
Trains: F/M to 2nd Avenue or J/M/Z to Essex/Delancey Sts.

In the era of Occupy Wall Street, continuing US war and militarization overseas, and the worst global economic crisis in history, the work and writings of Dr. Jose Maria Sison on socialism, imperialist globalization, and peoples movements for national and social liberation prove to stand the test of time in their relevancy, including the 40+ year demonization campaign of US imperialism against him. Despite his listing as a so-called foreign terrorist by the US State Department, Dr. Sison is a well-respected poet, author, lecturer, former political prisoner, anti-imperialist activist, revolutionary and remains actively involved in peoples struggles against US foreign policy and for democracy. He is currently the international chairperson of the International League of Peoples Struggles (ILPS), a global formation of more than 350 organizations from 40 countries promoting, supporting and developing the anti-imperialist struggles of the peoples of the world. Dr. Sison has been living in political exile in the Netherlands for more than 25 years.

The Selected Writings of Jose Maria Sison, Volumes 1-4 is a comprehensive compilation of Sison’s writings on socialism, imperialism, war and plunder, peace, terrorism, and peoples resistance spanning over 40 years, a period of time in which Sison served as fiery young leader in the Philippine revolution.

Sponsored by ILPS NYC Local Organizing Committee and BAYAN USA

ILPS member organizations in the New York City area include Al-Awda NY, Anakbayan New York/New Jersey, Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST), Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE), Frente Unidos de Inmigrantes Ecuatorianos (FUIE), International Action Center, NY Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines (NYCHRP), NY May 1st Coalition, and Philippine Forum.

BAYAN USA Statement of Solidarity with the Egyptian People’s Struggle

News Statement
January 31, 2011

Reference: Bernadette Ellorin, Chairperson, BAYAN USA
email: chair@bayanusa.org

Katie Joaquin of Anakbayan East Bay at the SF Rally in Solidarity with the Protests in Egypt and Tunisia, 1/29/11 (Photo by Sunshine Velasco)

Filipino-Americans Stand with the Egyptian People in Calling for Mubarak to Step Down

Filipino-Americans under the banner of BAYAN USA are joining rallies across the United States in support of the Egyptian people’s courageous resistance and calling for an end to the US-backed dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak. BAYAN USA is equally inspired by the national protest movements unfolding across North Africa and the Middle East, beginning with Tunisia, Yemen, Algeria, and now Egypt.

Despite mainstream media’s attempts to distort the protesters as Islamic extremists, the protests in Egypt clearly represent a broad, united front of various classes and sectors of Egyptian society that have grown sick and tired over deep, longstanding socio-economic problems including rising unemployment, food prices, widespread poverty, and government corruption. These are all exacerbated under the current global economic crisis coupled with over 30 years of Mubarak’s allegiance to US foreign policy–which stresses economic liberalization and privatization in the region– over the Egyptian people’s national interests.

The Filipino people are all too familiar with how the US hegemonic hand at the root of the Egyptian people’s misery is able to be sustained through puppet leaders such as Mubarak treating government as a private business rather than as a public service, otherwise known as bureaucrat capitalism. This was the case with the former US-backed dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, whose Iron Fist regime was no match for the popular people’s uprising known as People Power that ousted him from office in 1986. Unfortunately, this has also been the case with all the succeeding regimes in the Philippines.

The valuable lesson the Filipino people have learned from ousting two US puppet presidents through popular upsurge is that a change in leadership does not eradicate bureaucrat capitalism, domestic feudalism, nor foreign dictates. This must come from continuous struggle for structural change by way of a revolutionary mass movement.

Darah Macaraeg of League of Filipino Students-SFSU speaks at the SF Rally in Solidarity with the Protests in Egypt and Tunisia, 1/29/11 (Photo by Sunshine Velasco)

We are endlessly inspired by the Egyptian people’s fighting spirit and self-determination, and we demand the US government to withdraw all forms of support for Hosni Mubarak, who is now heavily-isolated. This especially includes all forms of US economic and military aid to Egypt. Considered one of the closes allies to the US government in the Middle East, Mubarak’s Egypt has enjoyed being the second largest beneficiary of US military aid in the world, receiving $1.3 billion in US tax dollars annually. We also call on the US government to respect and recognize Egyptian sovereignty by not interfering with Egyptian domestic affairs.

Lastly, we call on the people in the US to show their solidarity with the Egyptian people’s struggle by holding the Obama government and US ruling elite accountable for the burdensome economic crisis they have passed on to our backs, in forms such as skyrocketing unemployment and homelessness, critical cuts to education and health care, overbearing privatization of the social services, the prison industrial complex, and the rising costs of consumer goods. We call on the people in the US to strengthen and expand our unity against the US war machine waging costly imperialist wars of aggression abroad in the bogus name of democracy and freedom. This is amongst our best acts of solidarity for the Egyptian people and all other oppressed peoples of the world.


Professor Sison removed from EU blacklist, US should follow suit

Contact: Rhonda Ramiro
Secretary General, BAYAN-USA

European Court Ruling Removes Professor Sison from EU Blacklist

BAYAN-USA Applauds European Court Decision, Calls on U.S. State Department to Follow Suit

BAYAN-USA celebrated the landmark victory for all progressives and freedom-loving people on September 30, when the Court of First Instance of the European Communities (ECFI) annulled all previous decisions by the Council of the European Union (EU) that had maintained Professor Jose Maria Sison on an EU “terrorist list” and frozen his bank account since 2002. The Court ruled that “the procedures before the Raad van State and the Rechtbank [Hague District Court] clearly do not involve any ‘conviction’ of Mr Sison, nor do they amount to decisions to ‘instigat[e] … investigations or prosecut[e] for a terrorist act’.”

“The tactics used by reactionary governments to vilify Joma in the courts have failed because they stood on false pretenses,” said Berna Ellorin, Chair of BAYAN-USA. “No amount of smoke and mirrors could hide the truth: the only thing Joma is guilty of is serving the people and fighting for national freedom, democracy and social liberation.”

The EU’s terrorist blacklisting of Professor Sison in 2002 and the Dutch government’s subsequent arrest and detention of Sison in 2007 drew immediate criticism; well-respected organizations and individuals internationally denounced the actions as instigated by the Philippine and U.S. governments to silence dissent, particularly since the U.S. State Department had placed Professor Sison on its “terrorist list” earlier in 2002. Warrantless arrests and levying of false criminal charges against political activists are among the skyrocketing numbers of human rights violations committed since 2001 under the administration of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her military. Earlier this year, Professor Sison was cleared of the Dutch government’s charges due to lack of any credible evidence.

“Joma’s vindication underscores the absurdity of the terrorist blacklisting in the first place,” stated Ellorin. “The U.S.-backed Arroyo regime can no longer hide behind the rhetoric of ‘preventing terrorism’ to justify what is actually a campaign of political repression.”

“If President Obama hopes for the U.S. to regain any credibility among international human rights bodies, it would serve him well to ensure that the U.S. State Department removes Joma from the U.S. terrorist list.”