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Political Committee of the Poor - January, 2008

[The following article was originally published in late 2007 in response to the split in the People’s Democratic Party (PRD)-National Liberation Party of Struggle (Papernas). It was later republished as an editorial in the first issue the Political Committee of the Poor’s (KPRM) monthly newspaper Pembebasan (Liberation) dated January 2008.]

The PRD-Papernas' new path:

Offering a political alternative for poor has been the political position of the Peoples Democratic Party (PRD) since it was established. This political position held to the perspective that any real change or victory must be won by the poor based on the people's own strength, on the strength of the movement.

This perspective has now been abandoned by a section of the PRD leadership -- those calling themselves the majority leadership of the PRD -- and in accordance with their interests they have liquidating themselves (ideologically, politically and organizationally) into an electoral coalition with a fake reformist party, an ally of the government, a government that is an agent of imperialism. All simply to have an opportunity to get into parliament.

Because of this therefore, those of us who refuse to abandon the politics of the poor and who reject the path of parliamentarist opportunism, have formed the Political Committee of the Poor-PRD (Komite Poliitk Rakyat Miskin-Partai Rakyat Demokratik, KPRM-PRD). The KPRM-PRD was initially formed as a result of coercion when, by using the position/authority of the majority, which then became the internal position of the PRD, the majority leadership forced a division/split of the party into those who support parliamentarist opportunism and those who wish to continued to build a people's movement.

We now understand this undemocratic decision to split the party was a destructive consequence of their opportunist political perspective. For the KPRM-PRD, a far more important and pressing need is to play a concrete role in the development the politics of the poor, and together with other forces in the movement to building this kind of unity.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that the KPRM-PRD has washed its hands of the destruction of the politics of the poor within the PRD. While helping to build the peoples movement, we will continue the internal struggle to win back the PRD as an instrument of struggle for the politics of the poor.

Under the current political and economic situation, the movement faces the challenge of evaluating the situation and taking responsibility of leadership. Day by day, the people become clearer about the accumulating problems that they face. So the movement must take increasing responsibility to show the links between these problems and the role of imperialist oppression. We must be able to go beyond and penetrate the myriad of illusions that are consistently being strengthened, and which disguise the subservience of our rulers to the interests of imperialism.

Hopes for genuine change for the people will only be possible if the people's own strength (with activists from the movement among them) is capable of creating a network of people's resistance that is broad and united.

The concrete manifestation of the politics of the poor is the broadening and unifying of the people's resistance, unifying of the people's mobilizations and putting forward demands and solutions to the socio-economic problems of the people. These mobilizations must grow and become part of all the political arenas of the poor, and the elections are just one such arena. And indeed, no matter how the political movement of the poor may express itself, the primary issue that cannot be compromised is the refusal to accept any interference, to be subordinated to (so to remain free of the influence) and to refuse to fuse with the pro-imperialist government, the military and remnants of the New Order regime or fake reformists.

Yes, the politics of the poor is an alternative, a rival perspective based on the strength of the people's own resistance, based on the principles of non-cooperation and non-cooptation with the enemies of the people. No matter how difficult it may be, building of the people's own strength to resist must be undertaken, the problems must be overcome, this is a task that cannot be avoided. One concrete method we are putting forward is three monthly mobilizations, which can still be developed further, to extend the people's resistance, to awaken political consciousness, while concretizing it in the struggle the people, to articulate their demands through mass mobilizations.

The easy path to power (with the justification that revolution can be carried out from above) through parliamentarist opportunism, is truly an abandonment of the genuine struggle of the people. It is truly cutting oneself off from the politics of solidarity with the people.

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