My Struts is a little rusty but generally if you have plain request attributes instead of using the Struts stack you should be able to use plain old EL. So just try to get a reference on the request or session or whatever scope you want to use in your action.
JDBCSupport - An easy to use, light-weight JDBC framework -
Yes, you can; just write it. Struts 2 wraps requests in a way such that JSP EL lookups are first checked against the value stack. If value stack lookup fails it's handled by the default JSP EL processing.