In commemoration of the 41st anniversary of the Initiation of Armed Struggle (ILA 80) in Peru, marked on May 17, this year revolutionaries and democratic movements across the world celebrated this milestone of the international proletariat with cultural events, propaganda actions, and other activities to study and promote the important lessons of ILA 80. For further understanding on the significance of ILA 80 and the People’s War in Peru, read this year’s editorial, Long Live the Initiation of Armed Struggle in Peru, 1980! and last year’s editorial, Long Live the Peoples War in Peru on its 40th Anniversary.
In the United States, revolutionaries conducted activities for ILA 80 in cities across the country. In Washington D.C., Wheeling, and Kansas City, Tribune Support Committees (SCs) and Official Supporters tabled, gave speeches, and passed out literature on ILA 80, speaking to passersby in public areas like transportation hubs frequented by workers.
In Los Angeles, revolutionary organization Serve the People held a public study group on the Communist Party of Peru’s (PCP) document “We are the Initiators.” They made a banner for the event reading: “Political Power Grows From the Barrel of the Gun, ILA 80!”
The Oxnard Revolutionary Study Group conducted roving public theater (known as teatro) in four different locations across the city. With a banner reading “Long Live the Communist Party of Peru! Initiate the armed struggle” as a backdrop, actors representing PCP militants held cardboard cutouts of rifles and performed in English and Spanish, portraying the recruitment of the masses into the armed struggle. As spectators gathered to watch the performances, some joined in the acting and echoing chants.
The Oxnard Tribune SC also held an educational event on ILA 80 at a local park. During the event, one onlooker shared how he had just been brutalized by the police the day before, and expressed support for the calls for revolution to overthrow the imperialist ruling class and their armed enforcers. At the culmination of the event, a symbolic ballot box was burned as attendees held a banner reading “Long Live the People’s War in Peru!”
In Orlando, the Tribune SC held a cookout at a local park, listened to recordings of revolutionary songs by the PCP, and discussed the significance of ILA 80.
The Phoenix Tribune SC held a community event with friends, family, and local activists, including members of the local Brown Berets. Attendees socialized while enjoying Peruvian food prepared by SC members. The event concluded by watching Chairman Gonzalo’s speech of the century followed by a discussion.
In Pittsburgh, the Tribune Support Committee held an event at a park. Attendees learned how to sing “Without Power,” based on the PCP anthem “Salvo el Poder,” accompanied by a guitar. A presentation was made on ILA 80 which tied the election boycott in Peru to city elections occurring in Pittsburgh this week.
Houston Tribune Official Supporters held a small picnic on Monday to commemorate the anniversary of ILA 80. They studied “We are the Initiators” together, sang revolutionary songs, and handed out educational pamphlets on ILA 80. The next day supporters gathered with their neighbors to give a short speech about the holiday, letting the young children know that they can be a part of revolution too. The children took turns hitting a pinata made to look like a burning ballot box and chanted “Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win!”
The Austin Tribune SC held an educational and social event that began with a theatrical reenactment of the election boycott action in Chuschi, the first action of the initiation of armed struggle in Peru. Members dressed up as PCP combatants and tied up an actor representing the voting registrar. The reenactors popped fireworks to symbolize blowing up the voting center and symbolic ballots were burned. The SC played video of Chairman Gonzalo’s Speech of the Century, and afterwards musicians performed “Without Power.”
The Charlotte Tribune SC organized a cultural event where speakers discussed the history of class struggle in Peru and how the People’s War continues today. The event included a display of revolutionary art, Peruvian cuisine prepared by supporters, and revolutionary music from the PCP.
In Providence, the New England SC conducted a group study of “We Are the Initiators” and enjoyed refreshments from a local Peruvian restaurant and gave presentations on the significance of the People’s War in Peru.
In multiple cities across the US in the days leading up to May 17, wall art was documented with slogans commemorating the initiation of armed struggle in Peru accompanied by Hammers and Sickles. Slogans included: “ILA 80, Political Power Grows from the Barrel of the Gun!” “Long Live the Initiation of Armed Struggle in Peru 1980” “Long Live the People’s War in Peru” “ILA 80! Long Live 41 Years of Armed Struggle in Peru!”
On May 16, the Front for the Defense of the People’s Struggles (Frente de Defensa de las Luchas del Pueblo, FDLP) and their fraternal organizations released a statement commemorating the launch of the People’s War in Peru and paying tribute to those “who have made the supreme sacrifice of giving their lives for the Party and the revolution,” as well as denouncing the right opportunist line seeking to end the Peruvian People’s War.
Murals celebrating the 41st anniversary of the initiation of the People’s War in Peru were documented in Essen, Freiburg, Bremen, and Hamburg reading, “Long live the People’s War in Peru!”
Graffiti in solidarity with the PCP and the People’s War in Peru was documented in Oslo, Kristiansand, Stavanger, and Trondheim, reading, “Long live the PCP!” and “Long live the People’s War in Peru!”
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