Red Flag Express №27

Selected works of Jose Maria Sison

The Norman Bethune Bookstore, with the Centre for Philippine Concerns, and BAYAN Canada, invites you to the Québec launch of the first two books in the Selected Works of Philippine revolutionary, Professor Jose Maria Sison. This special event will be held Saturday, November 7, 2009 at the Bookstore located at 1918 Frontenac Street in Montréal, right next to the Frontenac Metro. The author, who lives as a political refugee in The Netherlands, will be present via videoconference. It is to be noted that November 7 marks the 92nd anniversary of the October Revolution which led to the founding of the Soviet Union.

Founder of the new Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) in 1968, Jose Maria Sison, or Joma for short, is one of the most important political personalities in this South-East Asian archipelago of 7,000 islands. Arrested during the time of the Marcos dictatorship, Sison spent nine years behind bars before his release in 1986. But repeated threats on his life from the military and the Philippine regime eventually forced him to leave his homeland. Jose Maria Sison is presently the chief negotiator in the peace talks with the Philippine government for the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). He also heads the International League of People’s Struggles, a global anti-imperialist organization.

After having been persecuted for more than seven years by the Council of the European Union and included on a “black list” of international terrorists, Sison recently won an important victory when all Council decisions were annulled by the European Court of First Instance, which also ordered that his name be removed from the terrorist listing.

Admired by millions of Filipinos who consider him an outstanding patriot, Sison is also a respected and well-known internationally by groups and organizations struggling for national liberation, democracy and socialism. In 1986, Robert A. Gorman’s Biographical Dictionary of Marxism lists Prof. Sison as one of the 200 most important Marxist thinkers since the Manifesto of the Communist Party was published. Sison is the author of many works including the well-known Philippine Society and Revolution, which was published in 1971 under the nom de guerre Amado Guerrero and has been republished four times.

The first two books in Sison’s Selected Works were published in the spring of 2009 by the Philippine publishing house, Aklat ng Bayan. The first, For Socialism, Justice and Peace, covers the period of 1991-1995. The second, For Democracy and Socialism against Imperialist Globalization, covers the following period until 2000. In both works are writings on the economic, political and social situation in the Philippines, as well as essays on crucial issues on the international scene (imperialist war, economic crisis, globalization). The two works reveal the importance of Prof. Sison as a revolutionary thinker and activist as well as the depth of the national democratic movement in the Philippines.

The Norman Bethune Bookstore and distribution centre was set up in March 2009 by the Revolutionary Communist Party. It focuses on historical and contemporary works which promote the struggle against the capitalist system and the pertinence of socialist revolution in the 21st Century. The November 7 event is presented in collaboration with the Centre d’appui aux Philippines – Centre for Philippine Concerns (CAP-CPC) and BAYAN Canada.

Founded in 1982, the CAP-CPC is made up of Filipinos and non-Filipinos in Montréal who support the movement for National Democracy in the Philippines. BAYAN Canada is an initiative of over 20 Philippine groups across Canada and was founded in Toronto in September, 2008.

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