Message to the book launch of Ka Joma Lives and The People’s Democratic Revolution in Invincible

Renato M. Reyes, Jr.
Bayan Secretary General

Good day and warm greetings of solidarity to our comrades and friends. We are gathered here today for the launching of 2 important books that highlight the revolutionary legacy of Prof. Jose Ma. Sison, whom we fondly knew as Joe, Ka Joma or JMS. It has been 50 days since the passing of one of the most important figures of the world proletarian revolution in the current era. We are also just 4 days before his 84th birth anniversary. His absence is deeply felt by the working class all over the world who have looked to him for inspiration and guidance in waging their respective struggles for national and social liberation.

The passing of JMS last December 16 in Utrecht led to an outpouring of grief and solidarity throughout various social movements, ]most especially among his compatriots. In the Manila, more than 2,000 people attended a public tribute held on December 28, 2022. Meanwhile, revolutionary forces in the countryside rendered a gun-salute for the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

So many were the tributes and messages of condolences and solidarity that these have been compiled in a book entitled “Ka Joma Lives” and will be launched today.

I’d like to share with you today an update related to the passing of Ka Joma. While we were holding our tributes for JMS, many of our online pages were subjected to censorship by social media giant Facebook. Multiple personal and organizational accounts that posted messages of condolences and tribute videos were suspended and restricted. In the worst of these acts of censorship, the Facebook pages of Anakbayan, Bayan and KMU, with close to 200,000 combined followers, were taken down in January. Some activists also had their personal accounts deleted or locked.

The online censorship is due to Facebook’s policy against so-called “dangerous individuals and organizations” supplied to it by the US State Department which includes Ka Joma. JMS himself had seen his personal account deleted twice by Facebook, without any notice or due process. The flagging of Joma-related posts led one of our allies to remark, “How can they still consider Joma dangerous when he has passed on?”

Indeed, why does Facebook consider JMS “dangerous” even after he has passed on? Because his ideas are so powerful that he poses a threat to the status quo? Because his influence over social movements worldwide constitutes an existential threat to monopoly capitalist rule? At age 83, Joma was surely no threat to the poor and exploited, to the workers and peasants and toiling masses. But we do understand why the imperialists and their fascist agents are somehow threatened by Joma’s words and ideas. These are no longer just ideas since these have long been transformed into a material force for social revolution.

The good news is that we were able to have our pages published again after we contested the blatant censorship done to those who only wished to honor the legacy of JMS.

Facebook censorship, incidentally, is one of the topics covered in Ka Joma’s last book, titled The People’s Democratic Revolution is Invincible. The book is a compilation of his articles written just before he passed on. The title of the book is taken from JMS’ valedictory address to the revolutionary forces and people, which according to Ka Julie, was finalized while he was already in hospital confinement.

These articles provide timely analysis on important world events and historic changes in Philippine society. They showed how the author was deeply engaged in these important developments, always trying to provide insights and guidance to the mass movement. Ka Joma showed mastery of materialist dialectics as well as history and current events as he analyzed the world situation, the crisis in Ukraine, the May 2022 elections in the Philippines, the return of the Marcoses to power, the historical rise of fascism before and after World War II, and its manifestation during the pandemic.

In the article The People’s Democratic Revolution is Invincible, we are reminded of JMS’ unshakeable faith in the masses. Even during the darkest period of our history, when the forces of reaction seemed overwhelming, he never faltered in his trust in the people, in their capacity to understand, act and triumph against great odds. This faith in the masses is rooted in his profound understanding of the laws of history, of how from the actions of oppressed majority, a new society can be born, and how socialism remains the future of mankind. His faith in the people stems from a recognition that there are limits to cruelty and oppression, and that no matter how long it may take, even if we may not see it in our lifetime, victory belongs to the struggling masses.

In his own words, “It is the toiling masses and the rest of the people who fight for national liberation, democracy and socialism against imperialism and all reaction who let us hope for a bright future of world peace and common prosperity.”

With his latest book, and the continuing publication of his previous books, we are confident that the legacy of Ka Joma will live on. He is very much alive in various movements for national and social liberation, among the workers, peasants, women and youth, indigenous peoples, and other oppressed sectors. He is very much alive in the revolutionary struggles led by proletarian parties all over the world.

Because unlike in social media, Ka Joma’s ideas can no longer be unpublished nor deleted. His ideas cannot be censored nor banned. His teachings have given rise to a powerful material force for change — enduring, ever-expanding, and in his own words, truly invincible. ###

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Categories: Statements


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