Pesan Solidaritas dari ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF)
MESSAGE OF SOLIDARITY
PEOPLE TO PEOPLE EXCHANGE
JULY 21-26, 2019 JAKARTA AND WEST JAVA, INDONESIA
I send my warm greetings and solidarity with the participants of the People to People Exchange gathering in Indonesia. I understand this is one of the activities suggested as a follow-up to the “Conference on Alternatives in Southeast Asia: Rethinking Cross-Border Regionalism” of last November 27-29, 2019 in Manila, Philippines which presented documented case studies of alternative practices from the ground.
I am happy that the Program on Alternative Development of the University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS AltDev) has taken the initiative and responsibility for these two events. For the People to People Exchange, UP CIDS Alt Dev has entered into a partnership with the Konfederasi Pergekaran Rakyat Indonesia (KPRI), an Indonesian peoples’ movement that is hosting the activity.
I also note that the documentation of alternative practices, the conference on alternatives, and the people to people exchange are initiatives that hew closely to the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF) 2017 statement on the need to “establish, expand, and strengthen a new peoples’ regional integration process based on the alternative practices of peoples, networks, and organizations across the region’s societies.”
Even as the ACSC/APF continues to engage the official ASEAN process and persists in bringing to the attention of the regions’ leaders the issues and concerns of Southeast Asian peoples in their quest for justice, equality, dignity, and a sustainable future for all, there is also a need to acknowledge and recognize that the vision of an alternative society is already being crafted by grassroots and community-based practices of an economic, political, social, and cultural nature. It is these peoples’ initiatives that will form the constituent parts of a new people’s regional integration model.
I wish to extend my heartfelt wish for a successful gathering and eagerly await the results and outcomes of these initiatives. I also hope for more events of this type that will cement the solidarities and commonalities of Southeast Asian peoples in the struggle for peoples’ empowerment and a shared regional identity.
Convenor, ACSC/APF Philippine National Organizing Committee
Member, ACSC/APF Regional Steering Committee
Pesan Solidaritas dari University of the Philippies Center for Integrative and Development Studies
21-26 JULY 2019
JAKARTA AND PASUNDAN, INDONESIA
The Program on Alternative Development of University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development (AltDev, UP CIDS) is pleased and honored to sponsor and help organize the People-to-People Exchange (P2P) in Jakarta and Pasundan, Indonesia from 21-26 July 2019 between Southeast Asian social movements, grassroots organizations, and civil society organizations. We are also grateful and appreciative to the Konfederasi Pergerakan Rakyat Indonesia (KPRI) for agreeing to host this important and ground-breaking gathering.
KPRI, or Confederation of Indonesian Peoples Movement, has been in the forefront of efforts from the ground to develop alternatives to the existing capitalist order by establishing local and sustainable economic initiatives and informed by empowering social and political principles. It is therefore a distinct privilege for AltDev to partner with KPRI in this laudable initiative.
The P2P initiative was born out of the Conference on Alternatives in Southeast Asia held last November 27-29 in Quezon City, Philippines which surfaced thirty case studies of alternative peoples’ practices in the economic, social, political, and cultural spheres in the Philippines,
Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Timor Leste, and Malaysia. The conference theme of “Rethinking cross-border regionalism” reflects the sentiment expressed in the 2017 statement of the Asean Civil Society Conference/Asean Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF) that the case for a radical transformation of ASEAN is irrefutable. Participants to the ACSC/APF 2017 firmly believe that such transformation will require taking decisive steps to ensure equitable distribution and sustainable use of natural resources, realize the full gamut of economic, social, cultural, civil, and political rights for all peoples, and to reestablish itself along the principles of solidarity, cooperation, complementarity, and friendship among nations.
ACSC/APF contends that in undertaking this radical transformation, it will develop and adopt a new vision for engagement by civil society with ASEAN based on greater people to people interactions that will establish, expand and strengthen a new peoples’ regional integration process based on the alternative practices of peoples, networks, and organizations across the region’s societies.
In anticipating this call of ACSC/APF, the Program on Alternative Development of UP CIDS was established in 2017 that first undertook the identification and documentation of an initial thirty case studies of alternative peoples’ practices across Southeast Asia. More cases will be
documented in 2019. The idea is to highlight these practices as alternatives to the dominant development model that is focused on profit-oriented, elite-driven, class-biased and disempowering strategies. The next step was to link these peoples’ practices, share experiences, identify challenges, pinpoint commonalities, and learn lessons from each one. The People-to-People Exchange program in Indonesia is an initial exploratory step towards this particular objective.
Our ultimate goal is to set up a new peoples’ regional integration network of like-minded organizations and movements that will challenge the Asean model of regional integration from above. This new regional integration model from below will be what Asean is not. In the economy, it will revive local markets based on fair trade and mutual exchange, utilize environmentally friendly and sustainable technologies, and strengthen cooperation between direct producers and consumers. In the social sphere, it will focus on self-help and community-based efforts in health, education, housing, and provision of public services. Politically, it will emphasize working peoples’ rights, participatory decision making, emancipatory actions in re-establishing control over natural resources and protection of the environment. In the cultural aspect, it will showcase the richness, diversity, and historical depth of the region’s creative arts.
The new peoples’ regional integration will be guided by what ACSC/APF itself identified as “a critique and rejection of deregulation, privatization, government and corporate-led trade and investment policies that breed greater inequalities, accelerate marginalization and exploitation, and inhibit peace, democracy, development, and social progress in the region.” Instead our efforts will be anchored on the principles of international solidarity, a shared regional identity, the commons, sharing of knowledge and resources, popular empowerment and participation, and working peoples’ ownership and control of the means of production.
But in all instances, our peoples’ regional integration must be firmly linked and tightly interconnected with grassroots initiatives and the creative practices of real peoples struggling to carve a better and more dignified life for their families and communities and for the future.
Eduardo C. Tadem, Ph.D.
Convenor, Program on Alternative Development, University of the Philippies Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS AltDev)
Pesan Solidaritas Dari Thailand
People-to-People Exchange Indonesia
It is great to meet all of you in Indonesia. I would like to thank University of Philippines for organizing people 2 people exchange, KPRI, SPP and Cigalontang community for a warm welcome.
On behalf of Focus on the Global South, I would like to express my solidarity with people here. Although we are not blood relatives, I believe we have connected in the spirit of struggle and ideology to create social justice in our society.
Through many years, we have struggled for our lives, livelihoods, and rights and sometimes we lost our families and friends along the way. Please remember them because they encourage us to continue confronting injustice and oppression. Even though their bodies
have been gone, their spirits remain with us and the world forever.
We could not count how many time we fail, but we dare to dream of social justice, we dare to stand up, we dare to speak and we dare to fight.
I believe in the power of people everyone here has so as to resist injustice. Even though the way we walk in the future is dark, our spirit will be a light guiding us to what we dream.
I hope that our spirit of struggle is growing and inspires our children, the young generation and society. It will last forever.
(Delivered by Supatsak Pobsuk from Thailand, in behalf of his organization Focus on the Global South, also a partner of this People-to-People Exchange)