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Big Leap Forward

Conference Advances Anti-Globalization Movement

by Carolyn Connelly |
July 1, 2001
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Netherlands - Sparked by the battle of Seattle, and Professor Jose Maria Sison's call for greater coordination of the anti-globalization movement, the International League of Peoples' Struggle's founding conference took place in the Netherlands, May 25-27. Over three hundred activists from progressive and anti-imperialist organizations gathered to consolidate the gains and lessons from massive protests in Manila, Prague, Seattle and Quebec.

There were contingents from Africa, South Asia, Europe - 33 countries, including the Philippines, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Turkey.

From New York, the Philippine Forum organized a joint delegation with representatives of the Filipino Workers Center, Network In Solidarity with the People of the Philippines, and the Makabayan Youth Collective.

"This is an important moment for the anti-globalization movement," said Dan Wilson of the Network In Solidarity with the People of the Philippines, "the imperialist powers are organizing internationally, and now we're further uniting our movement to defeat them." There were also a group from the Korean Truth Commission and many individual activists, including those from Boston, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The conference had over 30 panel discussions based on the points of unity that brought the conference together. These included workshops on labor, students, imperialism, women, the cause of peace, human rights, peasants and farmers, indigenous peoples, migrants and displaced people, teachers and youth.

Featured speakers included Crispin Beltran, the national chairperson of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (May First Movement), the center for militant trade unionism in the Philippines, and Luis Jalandoni, of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, chief negotiator in the peace process with the Philippine government. Conference organizer Jose Sison pointed out that the International League of Peoples' Struggle must unite against imperialist countries', particularly the U.S.'s, role in exploiting the working and oppressed peoples of the world.

The conference succeeded in forming an international body to coordinate work in the future, and developed a program. The program and other information on the ILPS are available on the web.

Wilson gave the founding meeting high marks, stating, "This conference was a success on many levels. I got to meet people leading progressive and anti-imperialist movements from all over the world. We shared lessons from our work, strategized on what we need to be doing next, and have started to build an international people's struggle organization. When we go to Washington D.C. in September for the World Bank/I.M.F. meeting, they better look out."