From Our Daily Report
In a joint statement, the Philippine government and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) announced an agreement to reset peace negotiations in an attempt to end a 54-year-long conflict. The agreement, facilitated by Norway, was signed in Oslo by representatives of both President Ferdinand Marcos Jr and the NDFP. The statement cited "socioeconomic and environmental issues," as well as "foreign security threats facing the country" as reasons for the re-opening of negotiations. Talks most recently stalled in 2017 when then-president Rodrigo Duterte broke off a peace process and declared the NDFP-affiliated New People's Army a "terrorist organization." (Image: NDFP flag via Wikimedia Commons)
by Uri Gordon, Freedom
Last week the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) released a declaration, setting out a new decentralized structure for the autonomous indigenous communities in Mexico's southern state of Chiapas. To get more insight into this change and its significance, Freedom spoke to Bill Weinberg, a longtime journalist and anarchist in New York City. His book about the Zapatistas, Homage to Chiapas: The New Indigenous Struggles in Mexico, was published by Verso in 2000. He spent much time in Chiapas and elsewhere in Mexico during the 1990s, covering the indigenous movements there, prominently including the Zapatistas. In recent decades he has been spending more time in South America and is now completing a book about indigenous struggles in the Andes, particularly Peru. He continues to follow the Zapatistas and Chiapas very closely, and covers world autonomy movements on his website CounterVortex.org.
by Eugene Simonov and Jennifer Castner,
Ukraine War Environmental Consequences Work Group
Over the last several decades, Russia has sought to expand its customer base for natural gas exports, efforts which necessitate the construction of pipelines from fossil fuel deposits in Russia's north to Europe and China. At the same time, fossil fuel exports are a valuable tool for Russia's geopolitical influence. Since the start of the war in Ukraine in 2014 and the full-scale invasion in 2022, the economic and political stakes have skyrocketed. Russia's national and regional green movements have played a vital role in decision-making about pipeline routes and negotiations in parallel. In the last few years, however, their activity has attracted increasingly harsh scrutiny from the Russian government, which has seen a growing number of organizations branded "undesirable" or declared "foreign agents."
by Mariia Lazareva and Erik Kucherenko, Jurist
On August 21, 2023, Ukraine's capital of Kyiv hosted a large international conference entitled Special Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine: Justice to be Served. The conference was aimed at reinvigorating global efforts to prosecute the crime of aggression against Ukraine—a crime which cannot be prosecuted under the current jurisdictional regime of the International Criminal Court. The conference was especially relevant given that, despite optimistic expectations at the beginning of the year, disagreements between Ukraine and its allies have left some wondering: in the end, will justice be served?
by Haggai Matar, +972 Magazine
This is a terrible day. After waking up to air sirens under a barrage of hundreds of rockets fired on Israeli cities, we have been learning about the unprecedented assault by Palestinian militants from Gaza into Israeli towns bordering the strip.
News is flowing in of at least 40 Israelis killed and hundreds wounded, as well as some reportedly kidnapped into Gaza. Meanwhile, the Israeli army has already begun its own offensive on the blockaded strip, with troops mobilizing along the fence and air-strikes killing and wounding scores of Palestinians so far. The absolute dread of people who are seeing armed militants in their streets and homes, or the sight of fighter jets and approaching tanks, is unimaginable. Attacks on civilians are war crimes, and my heart goes to the victims and their families.
by Yevgeny Lerner
Many would-be “peacemakers” on the political right as well as on the political left, including even some on the libertarian left, have “very helpfully” suggested that Ukraine should give up some territories, which they describe as “Russian-speaking,” in order to appease the aggressor.
by Bill Weinberg
The war in Ukraine has left cities in ruins, displaced 12 million people, and brought the world to the brink of nuclear disaster. Why did Putin invade Ukraine?
Upon launching the invasion at the end of February, Putin said his aims were ensuring that Ukraine is “neutral,” “de-nazified” and “demilitarized.”
Putin has appropriated the rhetoric of anti-fascism, and his state-controlled media have for years portrayed the Ukrainian leadership as “Nazis.” Increasingly, the words “Ukrainian” and “Nazi” are used interchangeably.
by Nicholas Velazquez, Geopolitical Monitor
Russia's relationship with Serbia, a state in the heart of the contentious Balkans, will almost certainly be leveraged to imperil European security for the foreseeable future. Serbian President Aleksander Vucic, a former Europhilic parliamentarian turned autocratic leader, continues to advance Russia's destabilizing efforts in the region. Russia's close relationship with Serbia allows for the Kremlin to develop ties with nationalist elements in the Serb diaspora throughout the Balkans to destabilize Kosovo, Bosnia, and other pro-Western states in the region.
Toward International Recognition
by Nastya Moyseyenko, Jurist
Russia's unprovoked aggression against Ukraine has sparked a strong international reaction, with most states referring to the actions of the Russian army as war crimes. A number of parliaments and heads of state have recognized that yet another international crime—genocide—is being committed by the occupation's troops.
Poland's parliament, the Sejm, was the first to pass a resolution in March, strongly condemning "acts of genocide…committed on the territory of sovereign Ukraine by the Russian Federation armed forces, together with its allies, at the behest of military commanders being under the direct authority of President Vladimir Putin."