Occupation in London enters fifth day

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Occupation in London enters fifth day

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

In solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street and other “Occupy” protests, activists set up camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London on Saturday, and they plan to remain indefinitely. The protest thus far has been described as “largely peaceful” by a police spokesman.

On Saturday, an estimated thousand or more people attempted to protest in Paternoster Square, the site of the London Stock Exchange, but were blocked by police enforcing a High Court judgment. Julian Assange from Wikileaks also joined the protest to address the activists. A flag flies over the occupation showing the ‘Anonymous’ logo of a headless man in a black suit.

At around 9:30am Wednesday, many campers were still asleep, but around 30–50 people were listening in solidarity to trade union representatives from the National Shop Stewards Network, while 20 to 30 officers from the City of London police watched on. On the steps of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the speakers spoke about a variety of struggles including strikes by electricians that started in August against Balfour Beatty, one of Britain’s largest construction firms. Solidarity was expressed with the travellers at Dale Farm, and speakers described how the media and others were trying to “divide” workers, students and elderly people. One of the speakers said that while today they are occupying the square in London, “tomorrow we will be occupying universities and colleges” and spoke of the suspension of Vik Chechi, the Unison branch secretary who has been suspended by Queen Mary University. By 9:45am, the trade union talks had finished and the sound system was reactivated and reggae music started playing.

After the talks peter out, activity begins to resume on the site: people sorting out tents and serving food, under signs and banners playfully mixing politics (“The London Stock Exchange: Britain’s Biggest Casino”) with Internet memes (a Reddit cartoon man depicted saying “Y U NO JOIN US?”).

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Looted, possibly contaminated body parts transplanted into USA, Canadian patients

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Looted, possibly contaminated body parts transplanted into USA, Canadian patients

January 20, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Monday, March 20, 2006

Fears of contaminated bone and skin grafts are being felt by unsuspecting patients following the revelation that funeral homes may have been looting corpses.

Janet Evans of Marion Ohio was told by her surgeon, “The bone grafts you got might have been contaminated”. She reacted with shock, “I was flabbergasted because I didn’t even know what he was talking about. I didn’t know I got a bone graft until I got this call. I just thought they put in screws and rods.”

The body of Alistair Cooke, the former host of “Masterpiece Theatre,” was supposedly looted along with more than 1,000 others, according to two law enforcement officials close to the case. The tissue taken was typically skin, bone and tendon, which was then sold for use in procedures such as dental implants and hip replacements. According to authorities, millions of dollars were made by selling the body parts to companies for use in operations done at hospitals and clinics in the United States and Canada.

A New Jersey company, Biomedical Tissue Services, has reportedly been taking body parts from funeral homes across Brooklyn, New York. According to ABC News, they set up rooms like a “surgical suite.” After they took the bones, they replaced them with PVC pipe. This was purportedly done by stealth, without approval of the deceased person or the next of kin. 1,077 bodies were involved, say prosecuters.

Investagators say a former dentist, Michael Mastromarino, is behind the operation. Biomedical was considered one of the “hottest procurement companies in the country,” raking in close to $5 million. Eventually, people became worried: “Can the donors be trusted?” A tissue processing company called LifeCell answered no, and issued a recall on all their tissue.

Cooke’s daughter, Susan Cooke Kittredge, said, “To know his bones were sold was one thing, but to see him standing truncated before me is another entirely.” Now thousands of people around the country are receiving letters warning that they should be tested for infectious diseases like HIV or hepatitis. On February 23, the Brooklyn District Attorney indicted Mastromarino and three others. They are charged with 122 felony counts, including forgery and bodysnatching.

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Australian researchers confirm stress makes you sick

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Australian researchers confirm stress makes you sick

January 20, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Australian researchers say they have scientifically proven that stress causes sickness. The Garvan Institute in Sydney has discovered that a hormone, known as neuropeptide Y, (NPY) is released into the body during times of stress. Their findings show the hormone can stop the immune system from functioning properly.

Neuropeptide Y is one of those hormones that gets unregulated or released from neurones when stressful situations occur…it’s known for example that it regulates blood pressure and heart rates so your heart rate goes up but it hasn’t been known that it actually can affect immune cells as well,” said Professor Herbert Herzog, one of the researchers.

Herzog feels it is good to finally have proof of something people have suspected for so long.

“Now we have proven without doubt that there is a direct link and that stress can weaken the immune system and that makes you more vulnerable when you for example have a cold or flu and even in the more serious situations such as cancer can be enhanced in these situations,” said Herzog.

The Garvan Institute study centres on two key events that enable the human body to recognise foreign substances and control invaders. When our body encounters a pathogen (bacteria and viruses), the immune cells retain and interrogate suspects. Their activation is made possible by NPY. These cells then return to the lymph nodes, which are found all over the body, with information about the foreign invaders. The lymph nodes are where decisions about defence are made.

“Most of us expect to come down with a cold or other illness when we are under pressure, but until now we have mostly had circumstantial evidence for a link between the brain and the immune system,” said lead Garvan researcher, associate Professor Fabienne Mackay. “During periods of stress, nerves release a lot of NPY and it gets into the bloodstream, where it directly impacts on the cells in the immune system that look out for and destroy pathogens (bacteria and viruses) in the body.”

In the case of bacteria and viruses, TH1 cells are part of the attack team that is sent out on the ‘search and destroy’ mission. But when their job is done they need to be turned ‘off’ and the immune system reset. The same hormone, NPY, that activates the sentry cells now prompts the TH1 cells to slow down and die.

“Under normal conditions, circulating immune cells produce small amounts of NPY, which enables the immune cells on sentry duty and the TH1 immune cells to operate – it’s a yin and yang kind of situation. But too much NPY means that the TH1 attack is prevented despite the foreign invaders being identified – and this is what happens during stress,” added McKay.

The impact of stress on the body has been observed in athletes. Ph. D researcher at the University of Queensland, Luke Spence, together with the Australian Institute of Sport, studied elite and recreational athletes over five months.

They found elite athletes were more susceptible to respiratory diseases under stress.

“A lot of elite athletes put themselves through vast amounts of physical stress in their training, but also their emotional, psychological stress of feeling the pressure of Australia on their shoulders, wanting to compete and wanting to do their best,” said Spence.

It’s not just athletes who are prone to stress. Pressures at work and at home may cause emotional and mental stress that can be equally damaging. Almost a third of all work absenteeism in Australia is due to illness, costing employers over $10 billion a year.

“I think it has a huge impact for the work force and also for employers – if their employees are constantly stressed, constantly under pressure, they are more likely to get sick,” Spence said.

Further research could lead to the development of new drugs which may inhibit the action of the neuropeptide Y hormone.

Herzog warns people to minimise stress before it becomes a problem.

“Relaxation methods like yoga will help you to prevent that but there will still be people out there that are not responding to that and treatment by interfering with the system will be important,” he said. “There’s obviously some time until such a treatment will be available but this is something we will definitely work towards.”

The Garvan research will be published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Volume 202, No. 11.

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Australia men’s national wheelchair basketball team beat Japan 80-49 in final game of pool play

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Australia men’s national wheelchair basketball team beat Japan 80-49 in final game of pool play

January 19, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Homebush Bay, New South Wales —Last night, the Australia men’s national wheelchair basketball team beat Japan 80–49 in their final game of pool play at the Rollers & Gliders World Challenge taking place at at the Sport Centre at the Sydney Olympic Park and are through to the first place match.

The contrast between the two teams was seen in their wheels: almost every Australian player had a four wheeled chair that gave them increased stability while every single Japanese player had three wheels, which gave them great maneuverability. Japan played the aggressor throughout the match, with several players aggressively blocking with wheelchair on wheelchair contact. Both sides were loud, chanting defense, defense, defense when their side was on that side of the court.

The first quarter was closely fought, with Japan racking up 5 by 5:54 left in the first. They successfully took a lead of 17–16 by the end of the first quarter. They were unable to hold the lead, with Australia holding a 40–24 lead at the end of the first half. Australia’s lead at the end of the third was 61–34. While Japan increased their total points in the fourth quarter, they failed to defend against Australia who continued to answer back basket for basket for the game to end 80–49.

Australia plays in the first place match later today. Their London Paralympic campaign starts on August 30 against South Africa.

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Dell joins Microsoft-Nortel VoIP Team

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Dell joins Microsoft-Nortel VoIP Team

January 18, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dell Inc. announced on Tuesday that it will partner up with the Microsoft-Nortel Innovative communications alliance (ICA) team to sell Unified Communications and VoIP products.

The announcement on Tuesday the 16th of October 2007 includes Dell selling VoIP, data and wireless networking products from Nortel and the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and other unified communications products.

The partnership with both manufacturers should allow Dell to provide a pre-integrated solution.

In March 2007, competitors IBM and Cisco announced they would join in the competition for developing unified communications applications and the development of open technologies around the unified communications and collaboration (UC2) client platform an application programming interfaces (APIs) offered by IBM as a subset of Lotus Sametime.

“We want to make it simple for our customers to deploy unified communications so their end users can get access to all their messages in one place – whether its e-mail, phone or mobile device. This will pave the way for more business-ready productivity tools,” said vice president of solutions, Dell Product Group, Rick Becker.

  • Customers have four options:
    • Core Office Communication Server 2007 – provides instant messaging and on-premise Microsoft Live Meeting.
    • Office Communication Server: Telephony – enables call routing tracking and management, VoIP gateway and public branch exchange (PBX) integration.
    • Audio and Video Conferencing – allows point-to-point conference, video conference and VoIP audio conference.
    • Exchange Unified Messaging – provides voicemail, e-mail and fax in Microsoft Outlook, and anywhere access of Microsoft Outlook Inbox and Calendar.

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Bones of ‘small-bodied humans’ found in Micronesian cave

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Bones of ‘small-bodied humans’ found in Micronesian cave

January 18, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Friday, March 21, 2008

Another population of small humans has been reported, this time in caves in Micronesia.

Lee Berger, Steven Churchill, Bonita De Klerk and Rhonda Quinn, a team of paleontologists and anthropologists from South Africa and the United States document a group of “small-bodied humans” found in the ” in limestone caves in the rock islands of Palau, Micronesia.” The report, in a recent edition of the open access journal, PLoS ONE (2008 3:3) argues that these small people may “represent a congenitally abnormal individual drawn from a small-bodied island population of Homo Sapiens.” The term for this condition is Insular Dwarfism described in Foster’s Rule. Different radio carbon samples at the site date between 3000 and 4500 calendar years before the present, with the 3000 year old dates being judged the most reliable.

The authors argue, “Based on the evidence from Palau, we [Berger et al] hypothesize that reduction in the size of the face and chin, large dental size and other features noted here may in some cases be correlates of extreme body size reduction in H. sapiens.”

Unlike the 2004 find of the Flores dwarf human population (dated from 95,000 to 13,000 years ago), known as Homo floresienses and nicknamed hobbits, researchers do not consider this population to be a separate hominid population. They also suggest that this more recent population casts some doubt on H. floresienses being a separate species, and that,

“These features when seen in Flores may be best explained as correlates of small body size in an island adaptation, regardless of taxonomic affinity…[This] Palauan sample supports at least the possibility that the Flores hominins are simply an island adapted population of H. sapiens, perhaps with some individuals expressing congenital abnormalities.”

In support of this, Berger et al also argued that although the dwarf humans appeared to have many features in commons with Homo sapiens, there seems to be many features that are not usually associated with Homo sapiens.

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German government considers introducing mosque taxes, like church taxes

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German government considers introducing mosque taxes, like church taxes

January 18, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Saturday, December 29, 2018

On Wednesday, lawmakers of German ruling coalition parties — Christian Democratic Union of Germany ((de))German language: ?Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands (CDU), Social Democratic Party of Germany ((de))German language: ?Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD), and Christian Social Union in Bavaria ((de))German language: ?Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern (CSU) — announced they were considering imposing new mandatory taxation Muslims would have to pay, which the government would distribute as funding to mosques. The lawmakers said this was a possible solution to stop funding and finance of the mosques in Germany from foreign countries and institutes.

The proposal would introduce taxes for Muslims similar to the mandatory taxes the state collects from practicing Protestants and Catholics in order to fund the churches.

Official estimates indicate Germany has around 4.4 to 4.7 million resident Muslims. Mosques currently receive funding from foreign sources. Press reports indicate Gulf countries provide funding to mosques and imams. Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs ((tr))Turkish language: ?Diyanet ??leri Türk-?slam Birli?i (D?T?B) is reportedly one of the biggest foreign institutes currently funding mosques in Germany. D?T?B is under direction by the Turkish government and reportedly influences over 900 German Muslim communities.

Speaking to Deutsche Welle, Seyran Ates, founder of a progressive mosque in German capital Berlin, said German Islam “has a huge influence from outside, from foreign countries”. Ates went on to say, “They [German Muslims] have to take care about their own religion here in Germany. So Muslims in Germany should do something for Islam in Germany”.

Thorsten Frei of CDU told German daily Die Welt this is an “important step” enabling “Islam in Germany to emancipate itself from foreign states”. CSU’s Michael Frieser said, “Mosques must be open and transparent”.

Describing the idea of the new tax as “worthy of discussion”, Burkhard Lischka of SPD noted: “We need to work with the states on this issue, since the church tax is then responsibility of the states”.

Some other European governments, similarly to Germany, mandate Christians pay church taxes in order to fund the churches; including Austria, Italy, and Sweden.

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Karlheinz Stockhausen, composer, dies aged 79

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Karlheinz Stockhausen, composer, dies aged 79

January 18, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Friday, December 7, 2007

The German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, a pioneer of electronic music among major contemporary musicians, died on December 5. The German foundation, named in his honor, announced today, Stockhausen passed away in his Kürten home in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

A prolific composer, he wrote more than 300 works during his career, establishing himself as a pioneer of electronic music, as well as a representative of serialism. Studie I, dated 1953, is considered one of the first electronic music works ever produced.

Born in Mödrath, Germany, in 1927, he was the son of a mother from a wealthy family and a father who was a teacher. He grew up in Altenberg, where he started taking piano lessons. He studied piano and music pedagogy at the Musikhochschule in Cologne. It was at University of Cologne, he later studied musicology, philosophy and Germanics.

He was influenced by musicians such as Oliver Messiaen, Edgard Varèse, and Anton Webern, but also by painters such as Piet Mondrian and Paul Klee. Stockhausen’s works often departed from usual music styles.

During his life as a musician, Stockhausen explored most of the genres and styles. Starting in punctualism and concrete music early in his career, during the 1950s, he proceeded to research the electronic music area, which at the time was in an embryonic state. In the 1960s, he composed works of choral music, putting side-by-side the chorus and the use of electronic facilities. In the 1970s, he dedicated himself to serialism. Between 1977 and 2003, he committed himself to one of his most ambitious projects: a cycle of thematic works named Licht: Die sieben Tage der Woche (Light: the Seven Days of the Week).

Various artists have stated that they were influenced by Stokhausen, including artists as varied as Frank Zappa, Björk, Miles Davis, as well as Roger Waters and Rick Wright—two of the Pink Floyd members. The Beatles included a portrait of Stockhausen among the people pictured on the cover of their album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Italian singer/songwriter Franco Battiato dedicated Sulle corde di Aries to the composer.

While being a controversial artist, Stockhausen became a focus of polemics after he stated that the September 11, 2001 attacks were “works of art”. He later explained the meaning of his statements, and said that they had been, according to him, out-of-context and misquoted.

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US Senator Kennedy has brain tumor surgically removed

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US Senator Kennedy has brain tumor surgically removed

January 15, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Monday, June 2, 2008

Today, United States Senator Ted Kennedy underwent surgery for a brain tumor at Duke University Medical Center. Kennedy, 76, was diagnosed with malignant glioma, a common but dangerous form of cancer, after suffering a seizure on May 17.

Kennedy has met repeatedly with friend and medical advisor Dr. Lawrence C. Horowitz to plan a course of treatment. The first, of the major phases of that treatment has now been completed, and it is expected that chemotherapy and radiotherapy will follow.

“I am pleased to report that Senator Kennedy’s surgery was successful and accomplished our goals,” said Dr. Allan Friedman, the chief of neurosurgery at Duke, who performed the surgery. “After a brief recuperation, he will begin targeted radiation at Massachusetts General Hospital and chemotherapy treatment,” Friedman added.

In talks with the press, the senator has focused on his future beyond surgery. In a prepared statement issued by his office, Kennedy stated, “after completing treatment, I look forward to returning to the United States Senate and to doing everything I can to help elect Barack Obama as our next president.”

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2006 “Stolenwealth” Games to confront Commonwealth Games in Melbourne

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2006 “Stolenwealth” Games to confront Commonwealth Games in Melbourne

January 15, 2019 · Filed under Uncategorized

Friday, March 3, 2006

The possibility of large-scale protests in the face of the 3,000 journalists covering the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, has event organisers and the Government worried.

The group “Black GST” – which represents Indigenous Genocide, Sovereignty and Treaty – are planning demonstrations at prominent Games events unless the Government agrees to a range of demands including an end to Aboriginal genocide, Aboriginal Sovereignty and the signing of a treaty.

The Black GST say they hope the focus of the world’s media will draw attention to the plight of indigenous Australians during the Games. Organisers say supporters are converging from across Australia and from overseas. Organisers say up to 20,000 people may take part in talks, rallies, colourful protests and many cultural festivities designed to pressure the Federal Government on Indigeneous rights issues. They want the Government to provide a temporary campsite for the supporters, saying “organised chaos was better than disorganised chaos.”

The 2006 Stolenwealth Games convergence, described by organisers as the “cultural festival of the 2006 Commonwealth Games,” was virtually opened on March 2nd with the launch of the official “Stolenwealth Games” website. Scoop Independent News and Perth Indymedia reported that the launch was held at Federation Square in Melbourne. The site contents were projected via wireless laptop by the Stolenwealth Games General Manager, and a tour of the website was given on the big screen. He said “overwhelming amusement was the response from the audience.” The group say permanent access points to the website are being set up at public internet facilities across Victoria during the coming weeks.

“Interest in the Stolenwealth Games is building all over the world and this fresh, exciting and contemporary site will draw in people from Stolenwealth Nations around the globe to find out about the latest news and events,” said a Stolenwealth Games spokesperson. “We have been getting many requests from around the world wanting to know about the Stolenwealth Games. We have provided many ways that individuals and organisations can support the campaign by spreading the word.”

The Victorian Traditional Owner Land Justice Group (VTOLJG) which represents the first nation groups of Victoria, has announced its support to boycott the 2006 Commonwealth Games until the Government “recognises Traditional Owner rights.” The group asserts that culture has been misappropriated in preparation for the Games.

Organisers of the campaign say they welcome the formal support from the Traditional Owners. “While some seek to divide and discredit Indigenous Australia, this support is further evidence that the Aboriginal people are united in opposition to the ongoing criminal genocide that is being perpetrated against the Aboriginal people” said Black GST supporter and Aboriginal Elder, Robbie Thorpe.

“We now have endorsement from the VTOLJG and the Aboriginal Tent Embassy for the aims and objectives of the Campaign and we are looking forward to hosting all indigenous and non-indigenous supporters from across Australia in March,” he said. The Black GST group have said “the convergence will be held as a peaceful, family-focussed demonstration against genocide, and for the restoration of sovereignty and the negotiations towards a Treaty.”

But the campaign has received flak in mainstream media, such as Melbourne’s Herald Sun, who wrote: “the proposal to allow BlackGST to set up an Aboriginal tent embassy at a site well away from the Commonwealth Games will be interpreted by some as the State Government caving in to a radical protest group. A major concern for the Government… is to protect the event from disruption… no chances should be taken…”

The Black GST has been planning the convergence for months, calling for Aboriginal people and their supporters to converge on Melbourne. The Melbourne-based Indigenous rights group have called on thousands of people concerned about the plight of indigenous Australians to converge on Melbourne during the Games, which they have dubbed “the Stolenwealth Games”. But the choice of Kings Domain has made conflict almost inevitable, as the area is one of the areas gazetted by the State Government as a “Games management zone”.

Under the Commonwealth Games Arrangements Act, any area gazetted as a management zone is subject to a range of specific laws – including bans on protesting, creating a disturbance and other activities. The protest bans will be in effect at different times and places, and offenders can be arrested. A spokeswoman for the Black GST, which advocates peaceful protest, said the site had been chosen because it was close to where the Queen will stay on March 15. “We figured that she is only in Melbourne for 27 hours or something like that so we thought we would make it easy for her to come next door and see us,” she said. “We are a very open, welcoming group, so she will be welcome to come and join us.”

Kings Domain is the burial site for 38 indigenous forefathers of Victoria. Black GST elder, Targan, said trade union groups have offered to install infrastructure at the site. The group initially worked with the State Government to find a suitable camp site, but the relationship broke down when the Government failed to meet a deadline imposed by the protesters. “While we are disappointed the ministers were not able to meet deadline on our request, we thank them for their constructive approach towards negotiations and the open-door policy exercised,” said Targan.

A spokesman for Games Minister Justin Madden said the Government was still investigating other sites. Victoria Police Games security commander Brendan Bannan said he was not convinced the Black GST represented the views of most indigenous people. “We are dealing with the Aboriginal community and they don’t seem to support it at all … the wider Aboriginal community don’t support disruption to the Games at all,” he said.

The Government was told that Black GST supporters would camp in Fitzroy Gardens and other city parks should it fail to nominate a site. A spokesman for Aboriginal Affairs Minister Gavan Jennings said the Government was taking the issue seriously, but had not been able to finalise a campsite before the deadline.

Under special Games laws, people protesting or causing a disturbance in “Games management zones” can be arrested and fined. While prominent public spaces such as Federation Square, Birrarung Marr, Albert Park and the Alexandra Gardens fall under the legislation, such tough anti-protest laws cannot be enforced in the nearby Fitzroy Gardens.

Games chairman Ron Walker has urged the group to choose another date for its protest march through the city, which is currently planned to coincide with the opening ceremony on March 15. The group believes that an opportunity to gain attention for indigenous issues was lost at the Sydney Olympics and has vowed to make a highly visible presence at the Games.

The Black GST said the Australian Aboriginal Tent Embassy’s sacred flame, burning over many years at the Canberra site will be carried to Melbourne before the Games, and its arrival would mark the opening of the protest camp from where a march will proceed to the MCG before the Opening Ceremony.

Black GST claims supporters from all over Australia, including three busloads from the West Australian Land Council, will gather in Melbourne during the Games for peaceful protests.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Gavin Jennings had offered Victoria Park to the protesters. Victoria Park, former home of Collingwood Football Club, where one of the strongest statements of Aboriginal pride, when St Kilda star Nicky Winmar in 1993 raised his jumper and pointed to his bare chest after racial taunts from the Collingwood crowd.

Black GST, which has labelled the Games the Stolenwealth Games, said the State Government had failed to find a suitable venue. Black GST may encourage protesters to camp in prominent parks such as Fitzroy Gardens and Treasury Gardens. Graffiti supporting the action has also appeared in central Melbourne.

Melbourne City councillor Fraser Brindley has offered his home to the Black GST organisers. “I offered my home up to people who are organising visitors to come to the Games,” he said. Cr Brindley will be overseas when the Commonwealth Games are held and has offered the free accommodation at his flat at Parkville. He said he agreed with the protesters’ view that treaties needed to be signed with indigenous Australians. “I’m offering it up to the indigenous people who are coming to remind Her Majesty that her Empire took this land from them,” said Cr Brindlley. Nationals leader Peter Ryan said: “This extremist group has no part in the Australian community.” Melbourne councillor Peter Clarke said the actions were embarrassing and that he would try to discourage him. “It’s not in the spirit of the Games,” he said.

Aboriginal elder, Targan, said the possibility of securing Victoria Park was delightfully ironic. “There’s a lot of irony going on,” Targan, 53, a PhD student at Melbourne University, said. “GST stands for Genocide, Sovereignty and Treaty. We want the genocide of our people to stop; we want some sovereignty over traditional land, certainly how it is used, and we want a treaty with the government,” Targan said.

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