As the new year dawns, Anakbayan Canada continues to pay the highest possible tribute and honour to Ka Jose Maria Sison, who passed away on December 16th, 2022 in Utrecht, Netherlands. Militant youth of liberation struggles across the world look up to the foundation of teachings laid out by revolutionary leaders like Ka Joma.

Ka Joma’s legacy is eternal. As Filipino youth, we remember him for the sharp analysis of Philippine society which he developed in his late twenties through integration with the working and peasant masses. His foundational works, “Philippine Society and Revolution” (1969) and “Stand for National Democracy” (1967), put forward a clear class analysis and exposed the root causes of issues such as poverty, inequality, forced migration, and violence: these are the three basic problems of domestic feudalism, bureaucrat capitalism, and US imperialism. To this day, Filipinos around the world study this analysis and the program for national democracy to inspire and guide our liberation movement. For decades, Ka Joma’s analytical contributions have focused the suffering and agitation of Filipino people into concentrated, organized efforts to liberate ourselves and our homeland.

While he served the Filipino masses to his last breath, he was a proletarian internationalist and a revolutionary thinker whose contributions stretched far beyond our archipelago. His works, such as “Basic Principles of Marxism-Leninism” (1982), have summarized and advanced Marxist-Leninist thinking in accessible terms. He was a founding member of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, one of the greatest recent contributions to the worldwide anti-imperialist movement.

Ka Joma is remembered by many as the founding chairperson of the Communist Party of the Philippines. As Anakbayan Canada, we salute and respect this great contribution to the revolutionary struggle of Filipino workers and all workers of the world. Yet, we also remember his other contributions to the youth movement as founding chairperson of Kabataang Makabayan, and as a writer and thinker on the role of youth in the movement through works such as “Youth on the March” (1968). While Anakbayan Canada is not part of the NDFP, we honour Ka Joma because his contributions extend far beyond the underground movement. His work shows us that revolutionary fervor must be carried boldly forward in every possible avenue until the liberation of the Filipino people is achieved!

January reminds us this year, as it does every year, of the First Quarter Storm: the first quarter of 1970 when thousands of Filipino youth and students united with workers and peasants to protest the rising cost of living and increasingly unbearable exploitation. From January to March of 1970, youth and student activists like Ka Joma put their studies into practice by struggling side-by-side with workers, sharing their education with the masses, and creating revolutionary organizations which developed into the ever-growing national democratic mass movement we know today.

This year, let us honour the memory of Ka Joma by launching a new first quarter storm. As 2023 begins, let us boldly advance our efforts to agitate all Filipino youth to understand the root causes of our struggles here in Canada, organize ourselves by joining chapters of Anakbayan and forming new ones wherever possible, and mobilize our compatriots to carry forward the torch of liberation that Ka Joma and so many other heroes have carried before!

Long Live Ka Joma!

Lumalakas, lumalawak, lumalaban! Anakbayan!


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