Philippines: Press reports and Wikileaks cast doubt on peace talks, Sison authority

NDF negotiators meet Norwegian envoy in bid to break impasse

05-Sep-11, 2011 | Agence France-Presse

MANILA, Philippines – Communist rebel negotiators met a special Norwegian envoy on Monday in a fresh bid to reopen stalled peace talks to end a four-decade war with the government, aides said.

The chief negotiator of the National Democratic Front, Luis Jalandoni, met the envoy at the embassy in Manila but details of the talks were not disclosed, the rebels’ secretariat said.

Government negotiator Alexander Padilla told AFP he would meet the Norwegian envoy on Tuesday but he did not know if the rebel negotiators would be at the talks as well.

Norway, which has been brokering the on-and-off talks, sent the envoy, Ture Lundh, to Manila after negotiations stalled over the demand of the NDF that the government free 13 captured comrades it said are consultants of its peace negotiating panel.

The two sides hope to seal a peace accord by June 2012 but the new impasse has soured ties, with the government accusing the NDF of bad faith for kidnapping a town mayor and four jail guards recently.

Meanwhile, recent US embassy cables leaked by the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks revealed splits within the insurgent leadership, with self-exiled rebel founder Jose Maria Sison losing influence. Continue reading

Blockade! Dockworkers, Worldwide, Respond to Israel’s Flotilla Massacre and Gaza Siege

[Internationalist solidarity and action has not often been expressed by labor unions.  During the worldwide struggle against South African apartheid, important boycotts led to direct action by a number of working class activists and labor unions in many countries.  As global outrage erupted over the recent Israeli murderous assault on the humanitarian aid flotilla, dockworkers internationally drew on the experience of the anti-apartheid struggle, and organized work stoppages of Israeli ships, inspiring many to look for more direct actions in the period ahead.  A wide range of forces and political perspectives contributed to these actions, which have had an important impact.-ed.]

July 13, 2010

By GREG DROPKIN

Three weeks after the massacre on the Freedom Flotilla, ILWU dockworkers in the San Francisco Bay area delayed an Israeli Zim Lines ship for 24 hours, the Swedish Dockworkers Union began a week-long blockade of Israeli ships and containers, dockers in the Port of Cochin, India, refused to handle Israeli cargo, and the Turkish dockworkers union Liman-Is announced their members would refuse to service any Israeli shipping. In South Africa, Durban dockers had already boycotted a Zim Lines ship in response to the invasion of Gaza last year. On the 5th Anniversary of the United Palestinian Call for Boycott Divestment and Sanctions, Israel faces the prospect of targetted industrial action to implement boycotts. How did it happen, what does it mean, and how can the solidarity movement respond to the new opening? Continue reading