Grassroots organizations from 40 countries in Manila for confab to tackle global crisis


MANILA — More than 450 delegates from 380 grassroots organizations representing at least 40 countries are here in Manila to attend the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) Fourth International Assembly.

(Photos by Ronalyn V. Olea /

Some of the delegates gathered at the World Peace Bell at the Quezon City Memorial Circle to signal the opening of the conference. They raised annapurna or Nepalese “prayer flags,” similar to those raised by mountaineers before trekking toward the summit of Mt. Everest, to symbolize the peoples’ demands and aspirations for a brighter future.

“Like the multi-colored prayer flags, we at the ILPS have different cultures but are united in the search for genuine change,” Len Cooper, ILPS vice chairperson and an Australian, said. “The kind of change we want is different from that declared and implemented by the powers-that-be. It is change that will make peoples’ lives better.”

The Fourth International Assembly will be held from July 7 to 9 at Ciudad Christia Resort (Nine Waves) in San Mateo, Rizal. Cooper said the assembly will address 18 concerns, particularly the impact of the global crisis on the peoples of the world.

Malcom Guy, ILPS secretary general and a Canadian film maker, said that in ten years, the ILPS has reached to all continents. The league was established in 2001.

“We are answering a clamor of the peoples of the world,” Guy said. Citing the overthrow of dictatorial regimes in Egypt and Tunasia, Guy said there is “a strong impetus for change in the world today.”

(Photo by Ronalyn V. Olea /

With the US as the sole superpower, ILPS delegates will take into account the Obama administration’s foreign policy that affects other peoples of the world. Cooper said the ILPS condemns US intervention in other countries and all forms of imperialist aggression.

“Governments should listen to the voices of the peoples, not to the few ruling elites making profits at the expense of peoples,” Cooper said.


Meanwhile, a Japanese delegate was held by Philippine immigration officials upon arrival yesterday. Takane Ikeda of Asia-Wide Campaign-Japan, was immediately deported the next flight out.

“We condemn the action by Philippine government officials. There is no plausible excuse or justification for the deportation,” Cooper said. (

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