The New Revolutionary Proletariat of the Philippines: Building a Just and Democratic Society
National Democratic Movement of the Philippines (NDFP) / Free Movement of New Women (MAKIBAKA)
Chaired by: Véronique Dudouet (Berghof Foundation)
Respondent: Matteo Lucchetti (Visible Project)
Coni Ledesma is a member of the Negotiating Panel of the NDFP and the international spokesperson of MAKIBAKA. As a nun she became involved as an activist for the people’s rights in the Philippines in the early 1970s and she co-founded the organization Christians for National Liberation in 1972. Following the declaration of martial law in 1972 she was forced to go underground and was later arrested and imprisoned for two years. This lecture addresses the history of the Maoist oriented National Democratic Front in the Philippines, which has built a parallel state: a broad network of underground and above ground organizations, including many grass-roots Catholic organizations, youth councils, labor unions and the like. While the proletariat has all too often been reduced to the figure of the male worker, the Filipino National Democratic movement includes women, gay and transgender communities as fighters and as absolute equals. As a progressive parallel state it offers a wide range of services the state is not able to provide, ranging from education and relief work after the recent hurricane Haiyan to divorce, and gay marriage. The NDFP is an early advocate of LGBTQ rights.
The New World Summit: Stateless State took place at the Royal Flemish Theater in Brussels, Belgium, 19-21 September 2014.