“Enclosures have appropriately been called a revolution of the rich against the poor.”
Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation. 1944. (p. 35)
Joseph Elijah Sydney Gil and Jose Medriano III*
Banners in hand, feeling hungry but resolute, the farmers marched from Bataan to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Quezon City. Their voices sounding tired but marked with incredible conviction.
The imposition of Martial Law in Mindanao carries with it the probability of Martial Law being imposed in the entire Philippines.
In May last year, Rodrigo Duterte was elected to the Philippines presidency, with his ascendancy to power embodying an unravelling of the discourse that has supported the People Power Revolution of 1986.
01 June 2017
Malolos, Bulacan— Around 150 farmers, women, senior citizens, and children who were part of a "Lakbayan" (march) from Bataan to Malacanang to request President Rodrigo Duterte to help get the lands awarded to them under the government's agrarian reform program were prevented from entering Bulacan like by the Malolos police at 4pm on May 30.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), a mega-regional free trade agreement being negotiated by the 10-member ASEAN regional bloc and its FTA partners China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand held its 18th round of talks May 2-12 in Manila, Philippines.
In the recent[c1] “RCEP 18th Round of Talks,” members of civil society organizations and social movements presented their positions vis-à-vis the RCEP during the official Stakeholders’ Engangement, focusing on its impacts on trade, labor,
Malolos, Bulacan— Around 150 farmers, women, senior citizens, and children who were part of a "Lakbayan" (march) from Bataan to Malacanang to request President Rodrigo Duterte to help get the lands
Civil society organizations from Indonesia, Philippines, and Europe criticized the European Union’s Multilateral Investment Court proposal as an attempt to multilateralise the investor-State disput
22 February 2017, Manila, Philippines - Civil society and grassroots organizations from across Asia gathered in Manila for a two-day strategy meeting, February 21 and 22, to discuss a global campai
Manila, 16 January 2017:
Jakarta, December 8th: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is being negotiated in Jakarta, Indonesia this week (December 2-10)[i].
Organised by: The Sombath Initiative
11am, Wednesday 31 August, 2016, Bangkok
More than 80 participants representing trade unions, farming communities, indigenous peoples, health networks, women’s organisations, academia and civil society organizations met on 27-28 July in K
A report for Focus on the Global South by Dale Jiajun Wen
China plays an important role of representing the interests of developing countries in the current climate change negotiations through the mechanism of 77+China. As the most important emitter in developing countries it is facing an enormous challenge to fulfill its international obligations to reduce its CO2 emissions, while at the same time address its domestic responsibilities to meet the human development needs of hundreds of millions of its people that are still living in poverty.
by Ignacio Jose Minambres
With the increasing importance of Investment Flows and the impossibility to get agreements for its liberalization at the multilateral level, the developed economies are pushing for its inclusion in one way or another in the bilateral trade agreements that are being negotiated and signed, more ostensibly since the collapse of the Doha Round of the WTO.
Through the study of the agreements already signed by the EU we can foresee what will be the expectations the European bloc has for the negotiations it is holding with the ASEAN nations. In this paper we try to make a first analysis an understanding of what it is aiming to get and how it would affect a set of countries with such disparities as ASEAN.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES-- Focus on the Global South, a Manila and Bangkok-based think tank, released its Focus on the Philippines 2008 Yearbook called 'Crisis and Change'.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a regional mechanism, which
was created in 2001 and consists of the following:
People's Republic of China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. It was inspired by the need to solve the border disputes lingering between the Soviet Union's successor states and China in the wake of the end of the Cold War. Originally a Chinese initiative, taken after resolving their border problems with Central Asia and Russia, it was also profitable for the Central Asian States, which were lacking in consistency, stability and resources in the mid-nineties and struggling to establish multilateral and bilateral relations beyond the region. It was also designed as a platform to balance the role of the United States in the Central Asian region.
Main findings of this paper :
- The SCO has been able to meet with its initial objective to establish geopolitical multipolarity in Central Asia and check the US advance into the region.
- It is a reflection of the emerging multi-polar world.
- Its increasingly acquiring strength is suggestive of becoming a major political force of the Eurasian region.
- The SCO will play a vital role in ensuring international security.
Download the paper here
Edited by Dorothy-Grace Guerrero and Firoze Manji
China's New Role in Africa and the South: A search for a new perspective
China's global expansion is much talked about, but usually from the viewpoint of the West. This unique collection of essays, written by scholars
and activists from China and the global South, provides diverse views on the challenges faced by Africa, Latin America and Asia as a result of China's rise as a significant global economic power. Chinese aid, trade and investments - driven by the needs of its own economy - present both threats and opportunities for the South, requiring a nuanced analysis that goes beyond simplistic caricatures of ‘good' and ‘evil'.
Essay collection presented by the Reclaiming Public Water Network
The Focus Annual Report 2006 has just been released.
'At the Door of all the East': The Philippines in United States Military Strategy
This report seeks to document and explain why and how the United States has been attempting to re-establish its military presence in the Philippines in the period beginning in 2001. Diverging from the common explanation attributing increased US military presence in the country to the so-called “global war on terror,” this report instead locates US actions in the Philippines and in the Asia-Pacific region in the larger context of the US’ objectives and strategy.
The self-avowed aim of the US is to perpetuate its position of being the world’s sole superpower in order to re-order the world. Its strategy to perpetuate its status is to prevent the rise of any rivals. To do this, it is seeking the capacity to deter and defeat potential enemies anywhere in the world by retaining and realigning its “global posture” or its ability to operate across the globe through its worldwide network of forward-deployed troops, bases, andaccess agreements. Today, the US believes that, of all its potential rivals, China poses the greatest threat and must therefore be contained before it becomes even more powerful.
Three-quarters of the world’s 852 million men and women suffering from hunger are found in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their survival. Most of them are landless farmers or have such tiny or unproductive plots of land that they cannot feed their families”. This was the assessment of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released at the second International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in March 2006.
Statement from iDEFEND on the declaration of martial law in Mindanao, the Philippines
April 20, 2017
AN INVITATION TO A TALK & FORUM
Webinar Invitation: A Multinational ISDS? The European Commission Proposal for a “Multilateral Investment Court”
The European Commission proposal for a multilateral mechanism to settle investor-state disputes (ISDS) – publicly branded as a Multilateral Investment Court – would take us down that second path.
Statement from iDEFEND on the declaration of martial law in Mindanao, the Philippines
On Tuesday night, President Rodrigo Duterte declared Martial Law on the entire Mindanao Island while on a state visit in Russia, following the fighting between the military and the Maute group.
It has to be clarified that the clashes were triggered by law enforcement operation in Marawi. This is a situation started by the government itself. Similarly, the Maute group is a local terrorist group, and not ISIS, even as the former tries to ally itself with ISIS.
It’s been over a year since the late afternoon on 16 April 2016 when Den Kamlae went missing on his way to collect forest items. Material evidence was later discovered between 23-25 March 2017. Today, these important materials are still under examination by forensic scientists and the Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS).
On 14 March 2017, the International Day of Action for Rivers, we, the Save the Mekong Coalition along with civil society and community partners from Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, make this statement to express our gratitude to the Mekong River and the way of life she supports. The Mekong is our mother river, home to unique biodiversity and a lifeline for millions of people throughout the river basin. We recognize the efforts of Mekong communities who are working to protect and preserve the unique ecosystems and resources of the river for future generations.
July 11, 2016 - We, the undersigned Cambodian civil society groups, are outraged at the brutal murder of independent political analyst and grassroots organiser Kem Ley yesterday morning, and call for a prompt, thorough and independent inquiry into his death.
Kem Ley, 46, was shot twice, in his chest and his head, in a heavily-frequented Caltex petrol station cafe in central Phnom Penh shortly before 9.00 on Sunday morning.
Secretariat: c/o NFBM #1066-B, Emerald St., Taglesville Subd., Balanga City, Bataan
5th July 2016
5th July 2016
Translated from Filipino
Kilusan para sa Pambansang Demokrasya (KILUSAN) strongly condemns the treacherous murder of our comrade Gloria Capitan of Mariveles, Bataan!
Labor Day statement of Independent Senatorial Candidate Walden Bello
Today, I march side by side with our workers to affirm their struggle for labor rights and continue the fight for dignity for our working class.
Labor day is a celebration of what the labor movement has won over decades of struggle.
Not many people know this but the fact that it is illegal to force workers to work for more than 8 hours and that they have to be paid more if they work beyond that is something that workers—through collective action—achieved.
You may sign this statement by clicking here
Suffering the brunt of the ongoing El Nino, more than 6 thousand farmers converged along a national highway in Kidapawan in the island of Mindanao in the Philippines on March 30 to demand 15,000 sacks of rice and financial subsidy promised to them six months earlier by the provincial government. They urgently need this assistance to tide them over until they are able to plant and harvest rice again.