‘Right to Exist, Right to Resist’
Following is a report on the International League of People’s Struggle assembly in Chicago.
The Second Assembly of the U.S. Country Chapter of the International League of People’s Struggle was held at Teamster City in Chicago on Oct. 22. The motto of the conference was “Right to Exist, Right to Resist.” Over 300 attended, mostly multinational youth from around the country.
The assembly was followed by a strong, militant march in downtown Chicago to mark the second anniversary of the Chicago Police Department’s murder of Laquan McDonald and to demand an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council. The march, organized jointly by ILPS and the Chicago Alliance against Racist and Political Repression, drew about 600 people.
The assembly opened with a greeting by Jesus Rodriguez, the Consul General of Venezuela in Chicago. Keynote speakers included Frank Chapman, of the Chicago Alliance; Hatem Abudayyeh, of the Arab American Action Network, speaking on behalf of the Rasmea Odeh defense campaign; and Sara Chambers, of the Chicago Teachers Union. Nina Machipinlac and Johnny Rodriguez, of Anakbayan, read a message from Philippine revolutionary leader Jose Maria Sison, who is chairperson of ILPS. Fatin Jarara read a greeting from Palestinian revolutionary Leila Khaled of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. A powerful musical presentation by the Chicago duet Kostar opened the program.
The second panel included Philippine radical economist Paul Quintos, of the IBON Foundation; Lynn Mezza, of Chelsea Uniting Against the War (from Chelsea, Mass.); and Abayomi Azikiwe, of the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War and Injustice. The assembly drew activist and community groups from around the Midwest, and people from as far as California, Oregon, Washington state, Texas, New York, New Jersey and New England participated in the assembly.