1068

Hundreds of people crammed into the Marriott Hotel in Glasgow on August 29 for the launch of RISE – Scotland’s Left Alliance. The new coalition of the left will stand candidates in all eight regional seats in the 2016 Scottish elections.


Big protest against Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's security bill outside parliament in Tokyo, August 30.

About 120,000 people rallied outside Japan’s parliament on August 30 opposing what they call the “voluntary war law”.


#BlackLivesMatter activists Marissa Johnson and Mara Willaford stormed the stage as Sanders began speaking and demanded an opportunity to address racial injustice. Seattle, August 8.

There is a lull in the large mass mobilisations associated with the Black Lives Matter movement, but the campaign targetting racism and police brutality remains central to politics in the US.

Just hours after an arrest warrant was issued against him, Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina announced he would step down from office on September 2, in the face of a worsening corruption scandal and huge anti-government protests. The next day, a judge sentenced Perez Molina to a provisional jail sentence while the charges against him are heard.


Colombian right-wing paramilitaries.

Venezuela and Colombia recalled their ambassadors for consultations on August 26. The move came after a meeting between the two nations’ foreign ministers failed to calm diplomatic tensions over Venezuelan border closures and Colombian smuggling activities.

The recall was followed the next day by further border closures announced by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

About 150 million workers across India went on strike on September 2 to protest the "pro-business" policies of the Narendra Modi-led BJP government.

Trade unions are opposing government plans to sell off stakes in state-run companies and change labour laws, which will put jobs at risk and worsen working conditions.


Thousands of people gathered in Dublin, August 29.

Tens of thousands of people took part in a huge anti-water charge rally in Dublin on August 29 under the banner: “We’re not going away, you know!”

This is the fifth demonstration Right2Water has organised in opposition to deeply unpopular water charges. About 500,000 people have attended Right2Water protests to date.


Indigenous anti-Correa protesters.

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa is facing the most important challenge yet to his self-styled “Citizens' Revolution”.

A range of indigenous groups, trade unions and leftist parties mobilised across the country on August 13. Their long list of demands included calls for land reform, opposition to mining, support for bilingual education and the shelving of the government’s proposed water and labour laws.

“To change everything, we need everyone.” That is the slogan of the People’s Climate March being held globally on the weekend of November 27-29.

The rallies will coincide with the upcoming UN climate talks in Paris and will demand a transition to a safe climate that ensures jobs and social justice. But the rallies are not just about appealing to politicians to make a strong agreement in Paris — there is very little chance of that happening.

Mrs Engels
By Gavin McCrea
Scribe, 2015
352 pp, $29.99

For those hankering to know what Communist Manifesto co-author Frederick Engels’ erect penis looked like, page 37 of this novel is for you.

“In its vigours, it points up and a bit to the side,” says Lizzie Burns, the first-person narrator of the entire story.

Gavin McCrea’s Burns is a brilliant narrative voice, and his writing sparkles. Burns’s rich brogue and incisive humour are wonderful.

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