The statement below was released by the Party of the Labouring Masses (PLM), a Filipino socialist group, on December 14.
The bombs are falling on Aleppo as we issue this statement and the people of Aleppo are sending their final messages and last minute appeals to avert what can only be described as genocide by a brutal regime against its own people.
According to latest reports from humanitarian volunteers from besieged Eastern Aleppo, some 100,000 civilians are trapped in an area of 5 square kilometres with non-stop bombing, shelling and troops advancing on the ground. More than 500 people are trapped in one building alone. Many are living underground.
As a movement with a brave and also tragic history of having struggled against imperialism, we cannot stand by while the murderous actions of the Assad dictatorship are being justified as anti-imperialist. The lessons from our own history is that anti-imperialism is not some abstract foreign policy or principle. It’s a struggle by an oppressed people to advance their collective interests – the interests of the majority. We fight imperialism to advance the interests of the masa ("masses"). In this sense anti-imperialism must begin at home, on the domestic front.
We reject the view that the Assad regime is anti-imperialist. It’s a brutal dictatorship that is conducting genocide against its own people.
As we ourselves are now undertaking a tremendous struggle against a slide towards dictatorship and against elite rule in our own country, we heed the appeals of the people of Aleppo. We stand by the people of Aleppo in these terrible moments. We support the calls of the humanitarian volunteers, the medical personnel and the people of Aleppo.
We call on the Philippine government to exert maximum pressure on the Assad regime and its main ally, the government of Russia, through all the international avenues available to it -- including its recently established 'special' bilateral relations with the Russian government – to immediately stop the bombings to save lives and to provide safe passage for the people trapped in Aleppo.
December 14, 2016