The International League of Peoples’ Struggles (ILPS) United States chapter convened in Chicago on 22 October for “Right to Exist, Right to Resist,” a conference focusing on peoples’ struggles confronting imperialism and racism inside and outside the borders of the US.
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The event included a collective action and statement of solidarity with Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, as part of the international week of solidarity with Abdallah including events around the world. ILPS declared its support for the campaign to free Abdallah and came together, chanting “1, 2, 3, 4 – open up the prison doors! 5, 6, 7, 8 – smash the settler Zionist state!”
Samidoun is a member organization of ILPS and Mohammed Khatib of Samidoun Europe participates on the international coordinating committee of the alliance; Aiyanas Ormond, the chair of ILPS Canada, has been involved with Samidoun since its founding in Canada.
The conference brought together numerous movements involved in liberation struggles; amongst others, participants included BAYAN USA, Gabriela USA, NYC Students for Justice in Palestine, Palestinian Youth Movement, the League of Filipino Students and others, and highlighted the slogan, “Unite to fight police terror, state repression and racism.”
The event opened with greetings sent to the conference, including from longtime Filipino revolutionary Jose Maria Sison and Palestinian resistance icon Leila Khaled. The video of Khaled’s statement is below:
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Jesus Rodriguez of the Consulate General of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela also gave an opening speech before remarks by keynote speaker Frank Chapman of the Chicago Alliance Against Racial and Political Repression. Hatem Abudayyeh of the US Palestinian Community Network spoke on behalf of Rasmea Odeh, on her struggle as a former Palestinian political prisoner and torture survivor being targeted once more for prosecution and harassment by the US government.
Various panels highlighted struggles taking place in the US and internationally to confront US imperialism and racism, before ILPS delegates participated in a mass march in the streets of Chicago to remember and demand justice for Laquan McDonald, murdered by Chicago police two years ago, on 20 October 2014.