Ka Joma Lives! Study Movement: Immortalizing Ka Joma’s Legacy

The passing of beloved comrade, Ka Jose Maria Sison, fondly called Ka Joma, on December 16, 2022, gave birth to a movement that serves to immortalize his legacy and propagate his works and teachings to the Philippines and the world.

Launched by the revolutionary movement in the Philippines and abroad, Ka Joma Lives! is a dynamic and vibrant study movement that conducts campaigns and activities that commemorate his life and contributions to the Philippine national democratic revolution and the world proletarian struggle.

In 2023, Ka Joma Lives! Study Movement organized three major webinars, namely: “The Specific Characteristics of Our People’s War”, “Our Urgent Tasks”, and “Rectify Our Errors, Rebuild the Party!”. These events featured his seminal theoretical writings that outline the fundamental principles of waging people’s war, carrying out revolutionary tasks, and revitalizing the party.

Next to these webinars, Ka Joma Lives! also launched ten of his books under the Sison Reader Series last year. These books, a compilation of his writings on movements, various sectors, imperialism in domestic and international settings, internationalism and rights, justice and peace, are published as Book 12: On the Legal Democratic Mass Movement; Book 13: On the Revolutionary Movement and Mass Work; Book 14: On the Workers’ Movement; Book 15: On the Peasant Movement and Agrarian Revolution; Book 16: On the Youth Movement; Book 17: Women in Revolution and National Minorities and the Right to Self-Determination; Book 18: Imperialism in the Philippines; Book 19: Imperialism in Various Global Regions; Book 20: Proletarian Internationalism and International Solidarity); and Book 21: People’s Rights, Justice and Peace.

Recently, on March 9, Ka Joma Lives! organized a back-to-back launch of Ka Joma’s books, also under the Sison Reader Series. Entitled, Book 22: On Neoliberal Globalization, and Book 23: Intensifying Interimperialist Contradictions, these books contain a collection of Ka Joma’s writings on neoliberalism and globalization, and on the possibility of having an interimperialist war, respectively.

Aside from these activities, Ka Joma Lives! leads the commemoration of Ka Joma’s birth and death anniversaries.

First death anniversary

On December 16 last year, on Ka Joma’s first death anniversary, Ka Joma Lives! hosted the gathering of comrades, allies, and friends of the revolutionary movement in the Philippines at the NDFP International Office in Utrecht, the Netherlands to celebrate his colourful and meaningful life. Through various tributes, songs, poetry readings, and cultural performances, he was honoured and remembered along with several other martyred comrades.

This event also launched Ka Joma Lives!’ Poem Project. Inspired by Ka Joma’s poem, “Stages of My Life,” where he chronicled his political trajectory using the season metaphor, the project invites individuals to add a new stanza to the poem or create their version and interpretation as a way of continuing Ka Joma’s legacy.  

Likewise, in the Philippines, an event entitled “Reflections on Palestine, the Philippines, and the Struggle for a Just and Lasting Peace,” was organized. Hundreds of individuals, including veteran and young activists, discussed and reflected on Ka Joma’s life and writings. They shared their thoughts and personal anecdotes on his works, such as, “Our Urgent Tasks,” “On Revolutionary Violence,” and “The Filipino People’s Democratic Revolution is Invincible,” as well as on his thematic writings, such as on Israel’s aggressions and massacre of the Palestinian people, and peace talks between the NDFP and the GRP.

In the countryside, on the same day, CPP and NPA units also conducted various activities to honor Ka Joma, including the renewal of pledges to the Party. Various guerilla fronts across the country reaffirmed their wholehearted service to the Filipino people and their commitment to offer their lives for the victory of the people’s democratic revolution.

Ka Joma’s birthday

This year, on February 8, Ka Joma Lives! celebrated Ka Joma’s 85th birthday by organizing a webinar on Ka Joma’s work, “Stand for Socialism Against Modern Revisionism, and a cultural event in Utrecht, highlighting Ka Joma’s valuable teachings on the importance of being steadfast in holding an anti-revisionist line and being diligent in studying MLM. The cultural celebration also highlighted the CPP’s call for rectification and resurgence, which is an ideological call to (re)study the basic Party and MLM documents to imbibe the proletarian revolutionary attitude and style of work fully and firmly, as well as to actively combat liberalism, conservatism and dogmatism among other ideological corrosives that destroy the Party and the revolution.

His birthday was also celebrated by the revolutionary movement in the Philippines. In a statement, the CPP paid tribute to the continuing relevance of Ka “Joma” and the validity of the struggle for national democracy. Members of Kabataang Makabayan, a clandestine revolutionary youth organization, in Rizal province, conducted an ‘OP-OD” or operation paint – operation paste activity where they painted a large portrait of Ka Joma near a public market and the revolutionary slogans, “Viva CPP-NPA-NDF!” and “Join the New People’s Army!” on several public walls. Meanwhile, also in a statement, the NDF in Southern Tagalog, brimming with revolutionary commitment and optimism, pledged to continue “forward the rectification movement and advance the people’s democratic revolution until victory.” #