Justice for “Comfort Women”! Stop Militarization!

Take action to remember and honour the victims of Imperial Japan’s sexual enslavement program. Demand justice now! Sustain our pledges to fight for just peace.

Actions will take place in

  • Vancouver: Wednesday August 14, 5-6pm at the Japanese Consulate (1177 West Hastings Street). Link to Facebook event here
  • Montreal: Wednesday August 14, 6-8pm at Parc Mackenzie-King, outside Côte Ste Catherine metro station. Link to Facebook event here

The anti-imperialist alliance known as the International League of People’s Struggles (ILPS) met in Hong Kong from June 23 to 26 where 400 members and guests agreed to decisions and a program of action made by the Commission for just peace against wars of aggression and counterrevolution and against nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. We defend the victims of and defenders against war and militarization and demand justice.

The Commission’s program includes actions at Japan embassies and consulates to demand an apology and compensation for so-called “comfort women” on August 14. As well, it is mobilizing for an international day of action against wars of aggression, militarization, militarism and imperialism on September 21 this year.

Japan occupied and warred against neighbouring countries in the early 20th century. Imperial Japan committed many crimes against humanity. Among them was the planned and systematic capture and enslavement of girls and young women for gratifying and rewarding its military officers. Justice has not yet properly and fully been carried out to acknowledge, renounce and repair these attacks.

The assaults on girls and women amplify the devastating outcomes of war and militarism. Rape and subjugation of war have long been considered by researchers and scientific observers to be regular weapons of imperialism and wars of aggression. Perhaps this fact is an additional motivation to the girls and women who have stepped forward to become heroic leaders of resistance to occupation and aggression. One example is a 16-year-old leader of the Independence Movement against the Japanese occupation of Korea, Yu Gwan-sun, who is celebrated on the anniversary of the Proclamation of Independence when protestors took to the streets of Seoul on March 1, 1919. This year of the 100th anniversary, Yu Gwan-sun was honoured with the Republic of Korea Medal. She was arrested and tortured for continuing to distribute the Proclamation along with homemade Korean flags, eventually dying in prison 100 years ago.

Although history books usually overlook such heroines, there have been many, from Jeanne d’Arc leading resistance against English invaders in France to the legendary Gabriela who similarly lead armed struggle against the Spanish occupiers of the Philippines. There is also the Iceni tribal Queen Boudica who led an uprising against Roman occupiers in what is now Wales.

Today it is absolutely necessary for women to politicize and activate themselves against the conquest, exploitation and plunder of imperialism, and its all-sided wars to dominate and rule the peoples of the world. US imperialism is still the number one terrorist and aggressor. The struggle to overcome imperialist domination and thinking cannot be achieved without the participation of women. Women’s liberation is entwined with national and social liberation.

The government of Japan has returned to an aggressive policy that celebrates and glorifies its past crimes and domination, and seeks to restore imperialist Japan. We condemn imperialist Japan’s past and present actions and policies.

Image result for south korea city busan
Photo depicts Koreans defending the monument remembering and honouring the victims of Imperial Japan’s enslavement of girls and women in Seoul. Located outside the Japanese Consulate in Downtown Seoul, the Japanese government wanted it removed but protesters want it kept there until justice is meted for the survivors and their families.

Tensions of inter-imperialist rivalries and all the contradictions of a global system in deep crisis are higher than ever before. Military mobilization is increasing while militarist and terrorist ideas and groupings are flourishing and the arms production industries churning while the people everywhere are working to resist and create alternatives to the failing system. Every tactic of imperialism, from cyber attacks to misinformation campaigns, from economic attacks to support for terrorism, from internal interference for regime-change to armed interventions, is being deployed against states that deviate from the imperialist blueprint and movements that resist or pursue the path of independence. The people must rise to the challenge; the whole planet is at stake.

Reviewing history and acknowledging both injustices and victories for just peace is important. In commemorating the large-scale bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that murdered and maimed 100’s of thousands of unarmed civilians, including Koreans and some Americans, we oppose nuclear and other weaponry of mass destruction. More than that, we oppose aggressions past and present of all states trying to take over others, capture markets and societies and dictate to and impose systems on them. In that light, the ILPS and its friends and allies together oppose US, Japanese, Chinese, Canadian, European and other imperialist bodies that are causing much destruction around the world.

We also condemn US imperialist’s past and present military aggression and militarism, from organizing coups and human rights violations against socialism in Latin America, to meddling and arming itself and terrorists against sovereign nations in Eastern Europe and Western Asia (aka “Middle East”). We strongly oppose the alliance between Japan, the US and South Korea and this alliance’s supporters in Canada and Europe in their efforts to deprive and destroy North Korean society. We are against the continuing massive nuclear presence and nuclear power expansion in the region. We applaud the ongoing real efforts to resolve the war and reunify Korea.

We stand firmly against the militarization of the Asian-Pacific region that is already stirring up international conflicts to the point exchanges of fire power, driving retaliatory strategies, disturbing and monopolizing waters and lands important for food and traditional practices, harming women and children, and prolonging wars such as the just guerrilla war against the vicious repressive and greedy government of the Philippines.

The nuclear threat remains and is, in fact, resurging as the US has renounced signing the first nuclear non-proliferation treaty and refuses to sign the latest one. It, Russia and China continue to experiment with weapons of mass destruction and extend their military apparatuses.

US imperialist rhetoric, mobilizations and policies cause a ripple effect of violence and militarization, for which it refuses to take responsibility. The monopoly capitalist economy, still today represented by, centralized in and defended by the US, is based on principles of violence against others and it depends on production for war. It is a system that constantly produces violence: labour, gender, economic, family, environmental, cultural and military violence. Now that it is coming apart at the seams, it is even more violence prone.

The people must continue to organize and rise to fight against this inherently violent system in order to achieve just peace. Conflicts cannot be resolved without properly and truly addressing just social, political and land reform demands. Negotiations are always preferred, and every act of legal, civil society must be attempted, but the armed self defense and opposition to repression and military aggression is often called for. The ILPS, while opposing wars of aggression and militarization/ militarism, defends such just struggles for just peace.

ILPS-Canada specifically calls on democratically minded and peace-loving people in Canada to organize and mobilize for just peace. Oppose colonial relations and policies! End the support for and dependency on the arms trade. Demand that Canada stop attacking diplomatic relations with Cuba and Venezuela and stop participating in the sanctions against the DPRK and Venezuela. Canada, get out of Afghanistan, the Middle East and Eastern Europe! Demand that Canada reject NATO.

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