Prof. Jose Maria Sison: Fellow migrant and champion of migrant rights

The International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS) Commission 15, devoted to “the rights and welfare of the diaspora, refugees and migrant workers displaced by imperialism and local reactionaries,” pays tribute to Prof. Jose Maria Sison, ILPS Chairman Emeritus, fellow migrant and sterling champion of migrants’ rights.

Prof. Sison’s death on December 16 is such a sad news for our Commission. We express our deepest condolences to his wife Julie de Lima-Sison, his children, relatives and comrades. We mourn his death, together with the Filipino people, Filipino migrants, and all migrants and peoples of the world.

For the longest time, Prof. Sison was a Communist, nationalist and activist leader who worked in the Philippines. He focused on the plight and struggles of the working people of his country. He was, and until his death, an internationalist, leader for peace and always in solidarity with the working peoples of the world. 

Forced into exile in 1987, however, Prof. Sison experienced firsthand what an increasing number of his compatriots have been experiencing: forced migration outside the Philippines. He has been active in the international migrants’ movement, including migrants’ plight and struggles in his focus.

Prof. Sison has contributed immensely to the international migrants’ movement. His theorizing of the exploitation and oppression suffered by migrants under monopoly capitalism, and the role of migrants in the struggle against this system are invaluable foundations that will remain with us. 

Many migrant organizations have solicited and studied Prof. Sison’s writings on migration and imperialism. His writings present sharp analyses of the crises that immediately affect migrants and other working people. These also clarify the immediate and long-term tasks of migrants in the struggle. 

The ILPS and the international migrants’ movement suffered a huge loss with the death of Prof. Sison. He has greatly contributed to strengthening the struggles and building the movements that will continue the fight for his dream — a world without monopoly capitalism and forced migration.

Prof. Sison’s ideas will continue to guide the migrants and peoples of the world. His example of indefatigable struggle against imperialism and all reactionaries will continue to inspire us. His love for the exploited and oppressed of the world and his spirit will surely live on in our movements. 

Long live the spirit of Prof. Jose Maria Sison!
Onward with the struggle for migrants’ rights!
Onward with the struggle against imperialism!
Long live the ILPS!
Long live the migrants and peoples of the world!