General concerns and affairs of the various mass movements

Opinion by PRISM editors

The debate is heating up on whether Mao Zedong’s theory of protracted people’s war has worldwide applicability today. The timing, while probably unintended, aptly coincides with the forthcoming 70th anniversary on October 1 of the People’s Republic of China. Mao’s theory developed and proved a success in China’s civil and national wars through the late 1920s, 1930s and 1940s until the Communist-led forces won nationwide victory in 1949.

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Mao during the Long March

PRISM editors are posting below the full text of a major response by Andy Belisario to the simmering debate on the “universality of people’s war”.

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More than 120 Filipinos and their international friends in Europe gathered to celebrate 50 years of struggle for social and national liberation in the Philippines on 31 March 2019. Billed as a “Tapestry of Resistance,” the event in Amsterdam, the Netherlands resonated with many other gatherings in the Philippines and overseas that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the founding of the New People’s Army.

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France's yellow vest movement

Professor Jose Maria Sison, chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), favorably compares France’s yellow vest movement “with the May 1968 mass protests in France, especially with regard to militancy and opposition to the capitalist establishment.” He says that the yellow-vest protestors “enjoy the support of the broad masses of the people” who condemn French neoliberal banker turned president Emmanuel Macron. While the movement “suffers from the same excessively horizontalist populist character” and the lack of revolutionary proletarian leadership, Sison emphasizes that the “yellow vest movement is welcome and praiseworthy for taking up the just grievances of the working class and the middle class and exposing the grave ills of the oppressive and exploitative capitalist ruling system.” Full text of the ILPS chairperson’s statement follows.

On the yellow vest movement in France


By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
March 19, 2019

On 17 November 2018, 300,000 people of the working class and the middle class mainly from the suburban and rural areas of France rose up in militant mass demonstrations to protest the fuel tax hike and rising fuel prices. Characteristically, they wore the yellow vest to signal their economic and social distress. They had been inspired by an online petition signed by almost one million people.

Eighteen mass demonstrations, centered in Paris and carried out nationwide, broke out up to the most recent one of March 16, 2019 dubbed as “The Ultimatum”. The just demands of the yellow vest movement have expanded from the lowering of fuel taxes to the reintroduction of the solidarity tax on wealth, increase of the minimum wage, expansion of social services, the implementation of citizen’s initiative referendums and the resignation of President Macron and his regime.

The Macron regime has responded with a heavy hand by launching physical attacks by the police on the demonstrators with the use of water cannons, tear gas grenades, flash balls and baton charges. It is but just that the demonstrators have fought back with the use of sticks, cobblestones, car blockades, control of roads and roundabouts, destruction of traffic surveillance cameras, the burning of the expensive cars of the big bourgeois and mass entries to the upper class restaurants and shops.

The yellow vest demonstrators enjoy the support of the broad masses of the people who condemn Macron, the investment banker turned president, as the promoter and enforcer of the neoliberal policy which favors the big bourgeoisie and its best-paid executives at the expense of the workers and the rural people. They are enraged by the use of police violence during mass actions and by the false promises made by Macron before and after every mass action.

The yellow vest movement has influenced similar mass movements in Europe and elsewhere in the world, whose participants wear the yellow vest and raise demands against the tax and other exploitative policies of the big bourgeois government. Most of the influenced movements have a benign and progressive character directed against the exploitative policies of bourgeois governments. But a few are directed against migrant workers and others unrelated to the monopoly bourgeoisie.

The yellow vest movement may be favorably compared with the May 1968 mass protests in France, especially with regard to militancy and opposition to the capitalist establishment. But it suffers from the same excessively horizontalist populist character and the lack of leadership from a revolutionary party of the proletariat. It may also be compared with the Occupy Movement of recent memory, which enjoyed popular support for a certain period. But this fizzled out for lack of leadership from a revolutionary party of the proletariat.

At any rate, such a phenomenon as the yellow vest movement is welcome and praiseworthy for taking up the just grievances of the working class and the middle class and exposing the grave ills of the oppressive and exploitative capitalist ruling system. It shows that there is a wide and deepgoing mass base of social discontent and resistance that the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary party of the proletariat can avail of in winning the battle for democracy and aiming for the socialist revolution.###

Source URL: https://josemariasison.org/on-the-yellow-vest-movement-in-france/

The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) reiterated its solidarity with “the government and people of Venezuela in their heroic struggle for national independence and socialism against US imperialism and its lackeys” within the country.

In the statement, ILPS chairperson Professor Jose Maria Sison reviewed the successes of “the Bolivarian revolutionary struggle” in Venezuela under the leadership of its late president, Hugo Chavez. “The people of Venezuela are loyal to and love Comrade Hugo Chavez because he led them to assert national independence and to aim for socialism,” Sison said. Read more

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November 25—As the year-long October Revolution Centennial Celebration (ORCC) draws to a close, it has reissued the General Declaration with the approval of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), the People’s Resource for International Solidarity and Mass Mobilization (PRISM), and a growing list of other progressive anti-imperialist, socialist, and Marxist-Leninist organizations.

The General Declaration was presented and discussed during the recently concluded People’s Conference on 23-24 September 2017 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Taking consideration of the major points debated during the two-day conference, the assembly decided to further circulate the draft to get the full approval, or approval with specific reservations, by the participating organizations. The full text follows: Read more

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The Partito dei Comitati di Appoggio alla Resistenza – per il Comunismo (CARC Party, Italy) participated in the Amsterdam conference on the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution on 23-24 September 2017. The following is the full text of the CARC Party’s intervention, which was presented by Comrade Paolo Babini. (Subheads and footnote is by PRISM editors.) Read more

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Revolutionaire Eenheid, which describes itself as an anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist, proletarian and feminist organization, actively participated in the recently concluded October Revolution Centennial Conference on 23-24 September in Amsterdam. A member activist, comrade Susana Perez, delivered an inspiring speech focused on the lessons of the Great Proletariat Cultural Revolution in relation to the current “challenges amongst modern youth movements.” The full text of her speech follows: Read more

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The Organizing Committee has issued the official Communiqué of the Conference on the Continuing Validity of the October Revolution in the 21st Century, held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on 23-24 September 2017. The Communiqué may be distributed widely through the participants’ organizations, networks and mass media, and posted on websites and other online social media. Read more

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AMSTERDAM, 24 September—Senior and veteran revolutionaries, socialist advocates and progressive political leaders, many of them with white or thinning hair, raised their clenched fists once more—this time with young social and cultural activists and trade unionists. Young and old together marked the October Revolution of 1917 with a People’s Conference that affirmed its relevance to the continuing struggle for revolutionary change in the 21st century. Read more