Unlike the famous boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Smokin’ Joe Frazier, the Asian Global Justice School (AGJS) at the International Institute for Research and Education (IIRE) in Manila was a showdown between political heavyweights, with much less violence and much more love and cooperation – that is, until the karaoke comes out!
From 17th of July until the 7th of August 2011, the IIRE Manila, the sister organization of the IIRE based in the Philippines, held its third Asian Global Justice School. Like the yearly Global Justice Schools in Amsterdam, this school aims to provide a space for debate, exchange of information, knowledge and experiences and networking between international social justice activists - but with a specific focus on the Asia-Pacific region and Asia in general.
The never ending traffic jams of Quezon City, Philippines, found its ‘compensation’ in the second Asian Global Justice School on August 2-2 1. Representing the Political Committee of the Poor-People’s Democratic Party (KPRM-PRD), along with 10 other left activists from Taiwan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Japan and Pakistan, I participated in a three-week school in Manila organised by International Institute for Research and Education (IIRE)-Manila.
The IIRE-Manila made a huge step forward in its second Global Justice School in August, with 22 attendees discussing context, movements and on alternative organizing for change. It can confirm that ten organisations are likely to take part in the third school, in the summer of 2011, and that numerous seminars will take part at the Manila campus before then. However, financial support remains needed to help participants to travel to Manila.
Kuyasu, a member of the Teduray tribe in the Philippines, recently stayed for several weeks at the IIRE. He participated in the International Youth Camp in Perugia this summer and later, visited Denmark and Sweden. We had numerous talks, on his life in the Central Mindanao Region, in his village. The Teduray tribe consists of about 6000 people, claiming an ancestral domain of 201,850 hectares.
Tell us about the current situation of your tribe…
The IIRE-Manila recently concluded its first high-profile acitivity, the first Asian Global Justice School. The set-up of the school was inspirired by the many succesful Global Justice School held at the IIRE-Amsterdam. The IIRE-Manila was set up to facilitate educational sessions similar to those organised by the IIRE-Amsterdam, especially for social justice activists from Asia that often have trouble obtaining visa necessary to attend the schools in Amsterdam. Another aim was to provide a perspective more centered on the Global South.
Since 1982, the existence of the International Institute for Research and Education in Amsterdam (IIRE-Amsterdam) has been instrumental in bringing together activists from all inhabited continents for critical exchanges of thoughts and experiences in the daily struggle for emancipation of all oppressed peoples of the world.