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Socialist Alliance has announced its preferences for the Wali (North) ward of Marrickville Council in the local government elections on September 8. Community activists Pip Hinman, Josie Evans and Jill Hickson will contest the election with the platform of “Power to the people!” and “Community and environment before developers’ profits”. Although New South Wales has an optional preferential system for local government elections, Socialist Alliance will allocate preferences to all candidates in the ward.
The August 25 Northern Territory elections have degenerated in to a “law and order” slugfest between the Labor Party and the Country Liberals, but there are still some progressive candidates running who may do well.
The Broome Community No Gas coalition released the statement below on August 17. * * * The Broome Community has vowed to stop Woodside's works as they are illegal, and will damage the Broome town water supply, after a convoy of Woodside vehicles entered the compound near James Price Point this morning.
Three open cut coalmines have been proposed over the Leard State Forest and adjoining farmland near Boggabri in NSW. Two mines currently operate in the forest, but their proposed expansion and a brand new mine would clear 50% of the forest. The National Parks Association of NSW says the forest is “home to 26 threatened plant and animal species” and is “the single biggest remnant of native vegetation left on the heavily cleared Liverpool Plains”.
In the lead up to the September 8 council elections across NSW, candidates in the City of Sydney have been finalised and several candidates forums have already been held.
The government of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa gave Julia Gillard's Australian government a lesson in dignity on August 16 when, facing British threats to raid its London embassy, it granted asylum to WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange. Ironically, Ecuador's decision to grant asylum to the Australian citizen who founded the whistleblowing website came on the same day the Australian Senate voted to further punish those seeking asylum in this country.
Two new mines are being assessed within the Tarkine rainforest in north-west Tasmania. The Tarkine is well known for the public battles to save it from logging, and was given emergency National Heritage listing in 2009. But that status lapsed in December 2010, and with the global price of minerals rising, mining companies began to explore the area. Ten mines have been proposed for the area — nine of them open cut. The first two mines planned will produce tin and iron ore.
“It would be easier for 100 camels to pass through the eye of a needle than for [the capitalist class] to win the election”, said Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaking at the Caracas Municipal Theatre on August 15. It is just six weeks until Venezuela’s October 7 presidential election pits incumbent Chavez and his pro-revolution Great Patriotic Pole (GPP) electoral alliance against his main rival Henrique Capriles. Capriles heads the right-wing opposition bloc, the Democratic Unity Forum (MUD).
The “moral bankruptcy of the ruling classes” is a thought readers would have shared as the Labor, Liberal and National parties came together in an unholy alliance to return to the cruel and shameful practice of locking up asylum seekers indefinitely in detention camps on Nauru and Manus Island, PNG. And again when the British government threatened to storm the embassy of Ecuador in London to arrest WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, who has now been granted asylum by Ecuador's progressive Rafael Correa government.
Venezuela and the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA) have backed Ecuador against “threats” from Britain, after Ecuador granted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange diplomatic asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London on August 16. ALBA is an anti-imperialist bloc of eight nations that includes Ecuador, Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia. Swedish authorities want to extradite Assange from Britain to investigate allegations against him of sexual assault.
Up to 200 Bagot community residents and supporters rallied outside Country-Liberal Party MLA Dave Tollner’s office on August 16, angry over his plans to “normalise” their home. Bagot was a reserve established in 1938 and included a residential facility for Stolen Generations children.
Two Israeli peace activists, Sahar Vardi and Micha Kurz, described their political awakening at a public forum at the Uniting Church, Balmain, on August 15. Vardi and Kurz explained their gradual realisation of the truth about Israel's oppression of the Palestinians and their determination to take action against it to an audience of about 60 people.
The Front Line Socialist Party of Sri Lanka held a protest to defend equality in education with an August 15 demonstration in front of the Fort Railway station in Colombo in support of a mass campaign student and teacher organisations, Premakumar Gunaratnam told Green Left Weekly. “Ever since 1977, various Sri Lankan governments have being trying to privatise the education system,” Gunaratnam explained. “The first attempts were blocked by a strong student movement led by the Inter University Students Federation (IUFS).”
The text below is translated from the official Spanish transcript of the press statement issued by Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino on August 16, explaining Ecuador’s decision to grant asylum to Julian Assange. Supporters of WikiLeaks are planning emergency rallies in Sydney and Brisbane
The Sydney Peace Foundation released the statement below on August 17. * * * The Sydney Peace Foundation thanks the government of Ecuador for giving asylum to Julian Assange.

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