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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
#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.
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.
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.
By the time Manus Island detainee Hamid Kehazaei was transferred to Australia he was already brain dead, documents produced at a pre-inquest conference show. He was transferred from Port Moresby in a comatose state and confirmed dead on arrival at Brisbane’s Mater Hospital. Kehazaei was transferred from Christmas Island to in September 2013. On August 23 last year he was given intravenous antibiotics for a leg ulcer. When it had not improved two days later a request for urgent removal to hospital was made. This was not approved until the following day.
Tony Abbott received a much-deserved roasting on the opening night of the Sydney Fringe Comedy festival on September 1. Unfortunately no actual fire was involved, but the prime minister — played disturbingly well by Jonas Holt (whose Abbott impersonation has featured on Weekend Sunrise and the At Home With Tones webseries) — was subjected to an amusing grilling.
I am sure we all appreciate the federal government's bid to secure Melbourne's borders, but in the aftermath of its farcical Border Force debacle, I have a tactical suggestion. If you really want to catch visa violators, just invite Liverpool FC back to play another match at the MCG, then round up the 90,000 English visa over-stayers who rock up. In fact, once everyone is in, just lock the stadium's gates and you have yourself a brand new ready-made detention centre.
LeBron James. If there was ever a moment that signalled how little Black lives mattered to people in power in the US, it was in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which hit the Gulf of Mexico — especially devastating the city of New Orleans — 10 years ago. This fact was called out in real time by New Orleans residents, racial-justice activists around the country, and Kanye West's off-script and utterly true comments that “George Bush doesn't care about Black people”.
The white police officer who shot two unarmed Black youths in May in Thurston County, Washington state, will not face criminal charges, the Thurston County Prosecutor announced on September 2, because the youths’ skateboards were said to be “threatening” the officer. Prosecutor Jon Tunheim said that rather than charging the cop, whose bullets left one of the young men paralysed from the waist down, assault charges would be filed against the two men, Bryson Chaplin, 21, and Andre Thompson, 24.
The community assembly outside the Hutchison terminal at Port Botany is holding firm against a threat by the NSW Port Authority to evict the gathering from the entrance to the facility. There was a similar stand-off at Fishermans Island, Port of Brisbane. The assemblies have been maintained for more than four weeks to protest against the sacking of 97 waterside workers by the giant Hutchison company, part of the biggest multinational stevedoring corporation in the world.
“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.
Staff at the federal Department of Human Services (DHS) started voting on a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) on September 4. The public service union strongly recommended a No vote. The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has been campaigning hard against new departmental EBA offers that cut wages and conditions. About 34,000 workers at DHS are set to vote down a management proposal that reflects the Abbott government's hard line against workers and unions in its own workforce, as a test case for wage and conditions cuts throughout all sectors of the economy.