Power and Democracy

Manila, Philippines -- As dark clouds loomed on the horizon, various sectoral groups belonging to In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity movement (IDEFEND) prepared to march towards Congress this morning on the occassion of Duterte's second State of the Nation Address (SONA).  (photo by Joseph Purugganan)

As part of the 13th International Conference on Thai Studies, Focus on the Global South (Focus) organized a roundtable discussion on 16 July 2017 to look at the role of capitalism and development in Asia, and the accompanying rise of dictatorial regimes in the region. Speakers included Walden Bello, co-founder and co-Chair of Focus; Surichai Wungaeo, Director of Rotary Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Chulalongkorn University and Focus co-Chair; and Naly Pilorge from LICADHO, a Cambodian human rights organization.

Declaration of the “The Community of International Academics” 
13th International Conference on Thai Studies 
and Scholars on Thai Studies
“Return the Space of Knowledge, Rights, and Civil Liberties to Thai Society”

Activists from around the globe are sending their messages of support and solidarity to Pablo Solon, who is being persecuted by the Bolivian government for his criticism of the mega-projects, El Bala and Chepete, in the Amazonian region. Solon and Rafael Archondo, a well-known journalist, are facing sham charges with up to 4 years imprisonment.

Attac France have released a statement (in French), in support of Pablo Solón. 

Mardi 11 Juillet 2017, par Attac France

Nous apprenons avec effroi que Pablo Solón, ambassadeur de la Bolivie aux Nations unies de 2009 à juin 2011, et Rafael Archondo, journaliste connu en Bolivie, sont sous le coup d’une accusation du gouvernement bolivien, qui pourrait aller jusqu’à leur emprisonnement.

The imposition of Martial Law in Mindanao carries with it the probability of Martial Law being imposed in the entire Philippines. With President Duterte threatening to put the Visayas and Luzon under Martial Law (he had made similar threats about Mindanao before actually declaring it on May 23 while on a state visit in Russia), there is no room for complacency, especially as far human rights defenders, leftist activists, and resistance and social movements are concerned.

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