ILPS migration commission holds Bangkok meeting

The Commission 15 of the International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS), the anti-imperialist alliance of grassroots organizations from around the globe, held its first meeting since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and its biggest meeting so far, on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 in the sidelines of the International Migrants Alliance (IMA) 5th Global Assembly in Bangkok, Thailand. 

The commission, devoted to “the rights and welfare of the diaspora, refugees and migrant workers displaced by imperialism and local reactionaries,” introduced ILPS to prospective members, discussed the multiple crises of imperialism, assessed its work since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, and gathered proposals for future study groups.

The meeting was attended by 35  individuals representing 33 organizations based in 16 countries and featured Ms. Azra Sayeed, ILPS vice-chairperson and chairperson of the International Women’s Alliance or IWA, and Mr. Robert Reid, president of New Zealand’s FIRST Union — both keynote speakers of the IMA assembly who answered follow-up questions about their speeches.

Mr. Camilo Perez Bustillo, member of the National Lawyers Guild of San Francisco and also a keynote speaker of the IMA assembly, was not able to attend the meeting as he had to immediately fly to the US-Mexico border to join a protest of migrants and refugees.

Mr. Malick Sy, from the Confédération nationale des travailleurs du Sénégal (CNTS, National Confederation of Senegalese Workers), presided over the assessment, presenting the webinars organized by the commission on migration and the pandemic on the one hand and labor, neoliberalism, fascism and racism on the other, as well as the role of overseas compatriots in national and social liberation movements.

Among topics that were proposed for future webinars were: intensified exploitation of migrant workers during the pandemic; heightened labor export amidst the multiple crises; scams targeting migrants; economic policies of migrant-sending countries; laws that hinder migrant organizing and unionization; climate change and its effects on migration, particularly on Pacific countries; migrants’ need for greater unity with workers given the intensification of the crisis that is pressing down wages and scapegoating migrants; and migration caused by wars and conflicts. 

While recognizing that the webinars provided migrants with educational activities, which were much-needed especially during the pandemic, the participants also called for maximizing forms such as social media and podcasts, that will reach ordinary migrants.

The commission meeting also announced the ILPS’ plan to hold its 7th International Assembly on 2024 and called on members to prepare to attend. 

Presiding over the meeting were Ms. Joanna Concepcion, chairperson of Migrante International from the Philippines, and Mr. Terry Valen, president of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns or NAFCON from the USA.###