New World Summit—Rojava, part I
16-17 Oct. 2015, Dêrik, Canton Cizîrê, Rojava
National Democratic Movement of the Philippines
While diversity in terms of language, political convictions and religious beliefs are protected and celebrated as part of the pluriformity in the region, the Social Contract protects the rights of children and women in particular through a secular system. Women have demanded and have been guaranteed equal participation in political life, equal rights within marriages and in relation to dowries and heritage, while children are protected from arranged marriages. Faced with the violent patriarchy and fundamentalism in the form of the Islamic State, a pluriform but principled system of secular self-governance is a key pillar of the Rojava Revolution.
What is today considered the National Democratic Movement of the Philippines consists of a variety of underground movements as well as (semi-)legal political parties and organizations with a strong leftist, Maoist signature. The National Democratic Movement gained its strength during the period of the US-backed Marcos dictatorship, from 1972 to 1986, as the Communist Party of the Philippines (founded in 1968) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (founded in 1969), rose to power in many localities throughout the country by mobilizing the peasant and worker populations by means of guerrilla tactics. The Vietnam War had further fueled anger towards the ongoing colonial policies of the Americans who, despite the formal independence of the Philippines in 1946, continued to control the country by supporting puppet regimes. Since the fall of the Marcos dictatorship, subsequent governments have continued to sell o land to foreign investors and their private militias, thus characterizing Filipino politics, in the words of leading revolutionary Jose Maria Sison as a “semicolonial and semifeudal ruling system under US imperialist control.”
Ilena Saturay is a representative of the National Democratic Movement of the Philippines. Saturay is further an active organizer in several political and cultural groups, such as the Linganan Art and Culture Network, with an emphasis on social and political issues such as migrant rights, women rights and social justice. She is further a multimedia artist who involves her creative work to broaden her movement.
The New World Summit: Rojava, part I took place in the cultural centre Tev-Cand in Dêrik, canton Cizîrê, Rojava on 16-17 October 2015. The summit was chaired by Judy Osse. Ilena Saturay's lecture was translated by Talal Awaid.