By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
We, in the International League of Peoples’ Struggle, hereby manifest our high respect for Daniel Boone Schirmer as an outstanding fighter against US imperialism and as an exponent of international solidarity of the peoples in the revolutionary struggle against imperialism and reaction and for a better world of greater freedom, democracy, social justice, all-round progress and peace.
We join all the organizations and individuals in the U.S., Philippines and in the whole world in conducting meaningful memorial activities from the day after his passing away last April 21 to June 18 in order to honor him for his militant political work and scholarship in support of the peoples’ struggle against US imperialism. He was a genuine American patriot and revolutionary internationalist in the tradition of the Anti-Imperialist League and Mark Twain.
He was already a veteran of ideological, political and organizational work among the youth and the workers when he went back to school in Harvard University in the 1960s. He became involved in the movement against the US war of aggression in Vietnam. It was by way of supporting the Vietnamese people’s struggle for national liberation that he chose as the subject of his doctoral dissertation the Anti-Imperialist League and the Filipino-American War which started in 1899.
After he got his Ph.D. in 1972, the proclamation of martial law in the Philippines and the imposition of the US-instigated fascist dictatorship on the Filipino people moved him to work for the organization of the Friends of the Filipino People. This was accomplished in 1973. It consisted of American and Filipino-American academics who were determined to support the Filipino people in their struggle for national freedom and democracy.
Through the Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino (Union of Democratic Filipinos), I was able to observe immediately the work of Daniel Boone Schirmer and his colleagues for the Filipino people. I am always proud to be among the first Filipinos in the underground in 1973 to read Boone’s Republic or Empire: American Resistance to the Philippine War. This carried a personal inscription from him which was very inspiring. It was brought to the Philippines by a Filipino who had apprenticed in The National Guardian in New York.
Since then, I had occasional communications with Boone in writing or orally through traveling mutual friends. I received from him interesting reading materials, even while I was already under military detention. Julie and I are grateful that he was able to visit our home in Quezon City twice to express concern about my situation in prison and about issues.
Daniel Boone Schirmer and the Friends of the Filipino People had a major share in gathering support from the American people, in keeping up the spirit of resistance among the Filipinos in the US, in exposing the imperialist motives of the US for propping up the Marcos dictatorship, in influencing American public opinion against the collaboration of the US and the Marcos ruling clique and in contributing to the isolation and fall of the fascist dictatorship.
The service that Boone rendered to the Filipino people did not end with supporting them in the struggle against Marcos. He considered the US military bases in the Philippines as the key point in US imperialist interests in the country. Indefatigably, he demanded and fought for their dismantling. After the US bases were dismantled in 1992, he denounced every attempt of the US and the puppet regimes to somehow allow US military forces to violate Philippine national sovereignty and territorial integrity and to engage in military intervention under such deceptive signboards as “status of forces”,”access and cross servicing” and “”visiting forces.”
It is of great importance to hold in the highest regard and constantly honor the noble tradition of the Anti-Imperialist League and the inspiring work and legacy of progressive Americans like Daniel Boone Schirmer. The more of such Americans in the belly of the beast, the greater is the confidence of the peoples of the world that the No. 1 plunderer and terrorist power will be defeated in many parts of the world and someday in the US itself.