Rosca and Sison’s new book captures Europe

Community News & Features Jan 1, 2005 at 2:01 pm

ALREADY heralded in the Philippines, North America, and in Southeast Asia, the new and controversial book by two controversial figures, Ninotchka Rosca and Jose Maria Sison, aptly titled “Jose Maria Sison: At home in the world, Portrait of a Revolutionary” finally hit European cities.

From November to December 2004, audiences in the Netherlands and Belgium were treated to a series of book reading and signing events featuring both authors in Eindhoven, Amsterdam, Utrecht, and Brussels. Setting apart the recent events in Europe to other events held around the world showcasing the new book was the fact that both authors could be present to share their thoughts and ideas about the book that chronicles Sison’s life as a man very much a part and ahead of his times.

Since Professor Sison was unjustly put on the European and U.S. “terrorist” list in 2002, he has been banned from traveling, therefore, limiting the right of fans of the book and the public to hear his views on the highly-anticipated book. Understanding this rare opportunity, audiences in Europe took the occasion to meet and interact with the two outspoken and avant-garde authors.

In Eindhoven, international delegates and guests of the Second International Assembly of the International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS) lined for over two hours to get their books signed.
In a soiree in Amsterdam titled “Private Conversations with Ninotchka Rosca and Jose Maria Sison,” members of the Filipino community had the opportunity to interact more intimately with Rosca and Sison. The community asked about the process of writing the book and their insights on other issues ranging from their days as youth activists to their thoughts on the state of the Filipino struggle for national independence and democracy.

In Utrecht, a local bookstore hosted the two authors for a book reading and signing event.

To end the tour, on International Human Rights Day in Brussels, Rosca spoke directly to the need to speak out about the intensifying human rights violations committed in the Philippines by the current President Macapagal-Arroyo. She expressed her outrage at the violations being committed against women and pointed to the cases of 11 women activists and campaigners of Gabriela Women’s Party List who were brutally killed.

The audience also questioned Sison’s “terrorist” listing and called on people to actively oppose his listing as such a listing does not only attack Sison’s democratic rights, but also attacks the democratic rights of all Europeans who choose to struggle for social justice.

Supporters of Sison and the authors hope that this groundswell of enthusiasm for the book will continue to grow and garner more attention in Europe.