Photo depicting a group of individuals protesting on a street carrying a large yellow banner with red text that reads, "ILPS U.S."

Against Imperialism: International League of Peoples’ Struggle Hosts Assembly in Seattle

by Victor Simoes

The Seattle Globalist was a daily online publication that covered the connections between local and global issues in Seattle. The Emerald is keeping alive its legacy of highlighting our city’s diverse voices by regularly publishing and re-publishing stories aligned with the Globalist’s mission. 

The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) U.S. 2nd National Assembly will take place Oct. 21–23 at Washington Hall in Seattle. This gathering of organizations from around the world aims to strengthen ties in the global fight against imperialism through a series of actions, workshops, discussions, and panels centered around the call “Fight for Our Rights, Lives, and Planet! Unite Against the Dying, Desperate U.S. Empire!” 

Imperialism is the imposition of a country’s political, economic, territorial, and cultural influence and control beyond its borders. U.S. imperialism has a long history of military conquest, diplomatic or forced intervention in other countries, and neoliberal policies that seek to benefit colonial powers at the cost of the world’s people and resources.

“If we are going to build a world that’s different, if we are to bring ourselves back from the edge of climate catastrophe, the potential of nuclear warfare, and from the devastating economic situation that so many people find themselves in, to do that, they need to build this anti-imperialist movement that brings together people from all across the country, organizations that really represent representative grassroots people that are attacking the imperialist beasts from many different angles,” said Rhonda Ramiro, member of the ILPS U.S. Steering Committee and the ILPS International Coordinating Committee.

The ILPS was formed in 2001, seeking to bring together the anti-imperialist and democratic forces that stood against the U.S. interventionist foreign policy under one alliance. Today, ILPS has grown to over 350 organizations in more than 45 countries. 

“Because of the conditions of imperialism and neoliberalism, particularly over the past 30 years, we actually have seen so many more people pushed out of their home countries, forced to migrate around the world because their conditions are unlivable at home,” Ramiro told the Emerald. “And so many of those people in the diaspora end up here in the United States. And we see the conditions of our community here in the U.S. and around the world as linked to those root problems in our home countries. We also know that being here in the U.S., we have a special role to play or kind of a unique role to play in that we can fight imperialism from within, within its belly of the beast.” 

The Assembly will kick off on Friday, Oct. 21, with an action targeting many multinational corporations based in Seattle. ILPS invites the community to join the march, starting at MOHAI at 3 p.m., that seeks to expose these companies’ oppressive policies toward workers, ties to militarism, and support to the United States imperialist agenda. Seattle has a rich history in anti-imperialist activism, most notably the large-scale anti-globalization protests against the World Trade Organization’s annual conference in 1999.

“Seattle is one of those places where so many of the largest multinational corporations that advance imperialist interests — Amazon, Starbucks, Google, and Boeing — have a large presence in the area,” said Ramiro. “Even the universities in Seattle have connections to large corporations that contribute to, for example, the U.S. war machine. So we thought it would be important to come to Seattle, to be able to confront that and then, even more importantly than the huge multinational corporations is that Seattle has a long and rich history of struggle, and we wanted to acknowledge that struggle and be in solidarity with it, celebrate it.”

ILPS member organizations based in South Seattle, such as Anakbayan South Seattle, a Filipino youth organization fighting for the national liberation of the Philippines, have been very involved in organizing the event. 

“A lot of folks are very, very involved; it’s been like an ILPS month,’’ said Nica Sy, vice chair of Anakbayan South Seattle. “I think that, in general, our chapter of Anakbayan has really worked hard to build solidarity relationships, and a lot of our solidarity work is centralized with ILPS. Leading up to the assembly, we’ve been promoting it with all of our activities, our outreach material, like our newsletter, and even with our general membership.”

In June 2022, ILPS member organizations such as Anakbayan South Seattle, Anakbayan UW, and SUPER UW, marched in downtown Seattle. The groups supported the people’s rejection of the U.S.-Marcos II Regime, demanding the regime to meet the needs of the people and the approval of the Philippine Human Rights Act. (Photo courtesy of ILPS Seattle-Tacoma.)

Anakbayan South Seattle sees the Assembly as an opportunity to continue building the anti-imperialist alliance and further intensify their actions against the imperialist policies in the Philippines. During September, Anakbayan South Seattle sent a contingent of members to New York to protest and directly confront the visit of Filipino president Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to the United States, where he met with President Biden and CEOs of companies like Boeing. 

“Anakbayan South Seattle is, first and foremost, an overseas chapter of Anakbayan in the Philippines,” said Sy. “We are ultimately accountable to our fellow Filipinos living in our homeland. We’re not isolated from the struggles of Filipinos back home. And if anything, our struggles here, our experiences in the diaspora, are directly linked to the conditions back home. Ever-worsening social and economic conditions in the Philippines are the reason that we’re here in the U.S. in the first place.”

To learn more about ILPS U.S. and Assembly details, you can check its website, and to keep up to date with future events and actions, you can follow its Instagram

“Standing against imperialism, imperialist policies, and warmongering of the U.S. is not only right and just,” said Ramiro, “it’s also urgent and necessary.”

Victor Simoes is an international student at the University of Washington pursuing a double degree in journalism and photo/media. Originally from Florianópolis, Brazil, they enjoy radical organizing, hyper pop, and their beloved cats. Their writing focuses on community, arts, and culture. You can find them on Instagram or Twitter at @victorhaysser.

📸 Featured Image: International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) members participate in marches during the Black Lives Matter uprising in 2020. (Photo courtesy of ILPS Seattle-Tacoma.)

Before you move on to the next story …
The South Seattle Emerald is brought to you by Rainmakers. Rainmakers give recurring gifts at any amount. With over 1,000 Rainmakers, the Emerald is truly community-driven local media. Help us keep BIPOC-led media free and accessible. 
If just half of our readers signed up to give $6 a month, we wouldn't have to fundraise for the rest of the year. Small amounts make a difference. 
We cannot do this work without you. Become a Rainmaker today!