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Message of Solidarity to Kabataang Montreal and to the Filipino Youth Consultative Forum

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Founding Chairman, Kabataang Makabayan
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of People's Struggle
19 August 2005

I am deeply pleased to know that Kabataang Montreal is holding the Filipino Youth Consultative Forum in Quebec this August 19-21 in order to prepare for the Canadian National Filipino Youth Conference in November and for the building of a Filipino youth coalition in Canada.

I agree with all your noble patriotic and progressive motivations and objectives. Let me therefore express my solidarity with you. I also feel honored and I am thankful to you for recognizing the contributions that I have made to the Filipino youth movement and to the Filipino people's movement for national liberation and democracy against US imperialism and the local exploiting classes since the beginning of the sixties.

You have chosen well the theme, "Understanding Our Past, Creating Our Future." You are aware of the current realities of oppression and exploitation in the Philippines, in Canada and in the world at large and you therefore desire to participate in the struggle for a new and better world. In this regard, to have deepgoing commitment, you must have a strong sense of history and the scientific and revolutionary optimism to solve the problems that confront you.

The, conditions of exploitation, impoverishment and underdevelopment inflicted on the entire Filipino people by foreign monopoly capitalism, domestic feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism have given rise to the diaspora of millions of Filipinos, who are nearly ten per cent of the Philippine population. The Filipino migrants expect a better source of income abroad and be of help to their loved ones in the motherland. But they face the harsh realities of racial and job discrimination, de-skilling and lower levels of income. All these make more sad your separation from relatives and friends in the Philippines.

There is therefore an urgent need for Filipinos abroad to come together and unite to uphold their honor and dignity, defend their rights and improve their wage and living conditions. The Filipino youth, especially those born abroad or those who came to Canada as children, have distinct problems, which can be solved only by tracing their roots, cherishing their cultural heritage, asserting themselves against all forms of discrimination, uniting with other Filipinos in Canada, the Philippines and elsewhere and coming into progressive solidarity with other nations and peoples in the struggle for a truly democratic and just society against monopoly capitalism, racism, fascism and all other forms of reaction.

I appreciate that your forum has a comprehensive and rich scope of topics, all relevant to your purpose of generating and strengthening the Filipino youth movement in Canada. It is fine that you discuss the role of the Filipino youth in Philippine history and the significance of the First Quarter Storm of 1970, the problem of racism and discrimination, the issues of accreditation, discrimination in the educational system and the role of Filipino students and young professionals in Canada and the problem of family separation in relation to the root causes of Filipino migration and the worsening conditions in the Philippines down to the current Arroyo regime.

I also appreciate that in your program of activities the serious discussions in plenary and workshops are balanced with a healthy measure of video and cultural presentations. At this point, let me congratulate the planners and organizers of the forum, the speakers, the video makers, the cultural performers and all participants in the forum for coming together to give shape, content and direction to the forum.

I am confident that this forum will draw closer the various participating Filipino youth groups based in Montreal to support the various campaigns, such as Defend Sison, Oust Arroyo regime, right to education and anti-racism, scrap the racist and sexist Live-in Caretaker Program (LCP) of Canada, and so on.

I wish you the utmost success in paving the way for National Filipino Youth Conference in November and realizing the National Filipino Youth Coalition. Success in mass organizing and building a coalition is possible only if there is a common consciousness of affinity, needs, rights and purpose. I hope that this forum will raise the collective will of the participants as well as those who will come to know the content of the event. Thank you. ###

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