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Message to Philippine Advocacy through Arts-Canada
on the Occasion of Its Concert "Songs of Our Times"

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples' Struggle
December 8, 2007

On behalf of the International League of Peoples' Struggle, I wish to express warmest greetings of solidarity to the officers and members of the Philippine Advocacy Through Arts-Canada (PATAC). We appreciate PATAC highly as an organization of Filipino artists that envisions a future where human rights, real freedom and a just peace reign and that strives to promote the Philippines, its people, culture and struggles through music, visuals, spoken word, prose and poetry and other artistic forms.

We commend you for holding the concert for peace and human rights, Songs of Our Times-Touch a Life, Help a Soul, in order to commemorate human rights day and to raise funds for helping the Philippine-base Children's Rehabilitation Center to run its programs and aid the children victims of militarization and human rights violations in the Philippines. We wish you the utmost success in this noble and lofty purpose of serving those among the most vulnerable in Philippine society.

In connection with the concert, you have an excellent partner in the Children's Rehabilitation Center which has long devoted itself to serving children and families that are victims of state violence . It focuses its services on children in the rural and urban areas who suffer physical health problems, emotional disorders, and social maladjustments due to such traumatic events as arrest, torture, forced displacement, strafing, bombing, massacre, disappearance, and other forms of human rights violations.

We hope that PATAC would be able to attract and encourage more Filipino artists in the Greater Toronto Area to express themselves and relate themselves to the Filipino community and other people in Canada and to the Filipino people back home in the struggle for their rights and for better conditions. You can amplify and extend your strength by developing alliances with community organizations, institutions and key individuals that are interested in the promotion of the arts and social justice.

You are on the correct track in responding to the need for advocacy on human rights, justice and peace issues in the Philippines and Canada and in supporting programs and activities that are meant to help the most oppressed and exploited people. To achieve your purpose, you need an ever expanding audience and participation of people.

You have chosen the arts as truly a potent instrument for reaching out and inspiring the people to act and change their lives and the world. The arts are an effective way for letting the people understand what are the problems of social injustice that confront them and what are the possible solutions to such problems.

We wish PATAC to become a learning centre for the understanding of socially significant issues and for developing artistic skills such as in songwriting, popular theatre, spoken word and visual arts. May PATAC be successful in promoting Philippine arts in various forms for the purpose of enlightening, inspiring and mobilizing the Filipinos here to stand and act for their democratic rights and legitimate interests and to support the Filipino people back in their struggle for national and social liberation against imperialism and the local exploiting classes. ###

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