24 February

Yahoo! snaps up Flickr

Monday, March 21, 2005

Portal and search company Yahoo! has purchased Ludicorp Research and Development Ltd., the private corporation which owns the photo sharing site Flickr. The news was officially disclosed in a Sunday posting to the corporation’s staff blog and is credited to Caterina Fake, Flickr’s vice president of marketing and community. The posting announced the sale, but did not disclose details of the deal. In a report by Silicon.Com, Yahoo! spokeswoman Joanna Stevens confirmed the deal on Sunday but also did not disclose the terms.

Both Fake and Stevens said Flickr will remain independent. Stevens added that Flickr’s employees will relocate to the Yahoo! headquarters in Sunnyvale, California later this year.

Rumors of the sale have been circulating amongst bloggers for some time, though neither company would confirm or deny the rumored sale. Other rumors had Google or AOL as Flickr’s probable suitor.

Flickr allows users to upload pictures from their computers, digital cameras, or camera phones to a personal website where they can display them, engage in photo blogging and create photo albums. The graphics may be licensed under a variety copyright license schemes including public domain, and photo owners can be easily contacted through the website.

Yahoo! had earlier announced Yahoo! 360°, a blogging service with sharing privileges and integration with other Yahoo! services such as internet broadcasting and instant messaging.

24 February

WMAQ reporter Amy Jacobson leaves job following controversial video

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

WMAQ-TV NBC 5 Chicago announced yesterday that reporter Amy Jacobson was leaving her job after being videotaped in a bikini with her two sons at the home of Craig Stebic. Jacobson has been covering the story of Stebic’s wife Lisa, who has been missing since April 30.

Jacobson says that she took her children on a social visit on her day off, following an invitation from Stebic’s family.

Jacobson has reported at WMAQ for the last ten years.

The video of her at Craig Stebic’s home was either taken by or given to CBS 2 WBBM-TV Chicago, the CBS affiliate. The entire six minute video of Jacobson is available at cbs2chicago.com.

The WMAQ President and General Manager Larry Wert stated “Amy has been one of our most valued reporters for over ten years The decision to part ways has been a difficult one. We wish her the very best.”

Speaking with WGN Radio on Wednesday morning, Jacobson described WBBM-TV’s releasing of the video a “cheap shot”.

She told Spike O’Dell that she is sickened by the entire ordeal and may pursue legal action against the people who took the video of her at Craig Stebic’s house. Jacobson said her attorney told her it is illegal to videotape people on private property and she said she “is looking at all of her legal options.”

A press release was sent to the WMAQ-TV Newsroom staff on July 10, 2007.

Jacobson came to WMAQ-TV in 1996 from Fox affiliate WJBK located in Detroit. Jacobson is a native of Mount Prospect. She began her career at KSAX and also worked in El Paso and Tucson, AZ. She started at WMAQ as a freelance reporter and moved up to general assignment reporter. She and her husband have two children and live on the north side of Chicago.

24 February

One year on: Egyptians mark anniversary of protests that toppled Mubarak

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Across Egypt hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets for the day, marking exactly one year since the outbreak of protests leading to 83-year-old longstanding ruler Hosni Mubarak’s downfall. The country’s decades-long emergency rule was partially lifted this week; meanwhile, a possible economic meltdown looms and a newly-elected parliament held their first meeting on Monday.

Despite the new parliament, military rule introduced following Mubarak’s fall last spring remains. Echoing the demands from a year ago, some protesters are demanding the military relinquish power; there are doubts an elected civilian leader will be permitted to replace the army.

The brief unity against Mubarak has since fragmented, with Secularists and Islamists marking the revolution’s anniversary splitting to opposing sides of Cairo’s famed Tahrir Square and chanting at each other. Initial demonstrations last year were mainly from young secularists; now, Islamic parties hold most of the new parliament’s seats — the country’s first democratic one in six decades.

Salafis hold 25% of the seats and 47% are held by the Muslim Brotherhood, which brought supporters to Cairo for the anniversary. Tahrir Square alone contained tens of thousands of people, some witnesses putting the crowd at 150,000 strong. It’s the largest number on the streets since the revolution.

Military rulers planned celebrations including pyrotechnics, commemorative coins, and air displays. The Supreme Council of Armed Forces took power after last year’s February 11 resignation of Mubarak.

Alaa al-Aswani, a pro-democracy activist writing in al-Masry al-Youm, said: “We must take to the streets on Wednesday, not to celebrate a revolution which has not achieved its goals, but to demonstrate peacefully our determination to achieve the objectives of the revolution,” — to “live in dignity, bring about justice, try the killers of the martyrs and achieve a minimum social justice”

Alexandria in the north and the eastern port city of Suez also saw large gatherings. It was bitter fighting in Suez led to the first of the revolution’s 850 casualties in ousting Mubarak. “We didn’t come out to celebrate. We came out to protest against the military council and to tell it to leave power immediately and hand over power to civilians,” said protestor Mohamed Ismail.

“Martyrs, sleep and rest. We will complete the struggle,” chanted crowds in Alexandria, a reference to the 850 ‘martyrs of the revolution’. No convictions are in yet although Mubarak is on trial. Photos of the dead were displayed in Tahrir Square. Young Tahrir chanters went with “Down with military rule” and “Revolution until victory, revolution in all of Egypt’s streets”.

If the protestors demanding the military leave power get their way, the Islamists celebrating election victory face a variety of challenges. For now, Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi — whose career featured twenty years as defence minister under Mubarak — rules the nation and promises to cede power following presidential elections this year.

The economy is troubled and unemployment is up since Mubarak left. With tourism and foreign investment greatly lower than usual, budget and payment deficits are up — with the Central Bank eating into its reserves in a bid to keep the Egyptian pound from losing too much value.

Last week the nation sought US$3.2 billion from the International Monetary Fund. The IMF insists upon funding also being secured from other donors, and strong support from Egypt’s leaders. IMF estimates say the money could be handed over in a few months — whereas Egypt wanted it in a matter of weeks.

The country has managed to bolster trade with the United States and Jordan. Amr Abul Ata, Egyptian ambassador to the fellow Middle-East state, told The Jordan Times in an interview for the anniversary that trade between the nations increased in 2011, and he expects another increase this year. This despite insurgent attacks reducing Egyptian gas production — alongside electricity the main export to Jordan. Jordan exports foodstuffs to Egypt and has just signed a deal increasing the prices it pays for gas. 2011 trade between the countries was worth US$1 billion.

The anniversary also saw a new trade deal with the US, signed by foreign trade and industry minister Mahmoud Eisa and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. President Barack Obama promises work to improve U.S. investment in, and trade with, nations changing political systems after the Arab Spring. Details remain to be agreed, but various proposals include US assistance for Egyptian small and medium enterprises. Both nations intend subjecting plans to ministerial scrutiny.

The U.S. hailed “several historic milestones in its transition to democracy” within a matter of days of Egypt’s revolution. This despite U.S.-Egypt ties being close during Mubarak’s rule.

US$1 billion in grants has been received already from Qatar and Saudi Arabia but army rulers refused to take loans from Gulf nations despite offers-in-principle coming from nations including Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates. Foreign aid has trickled in; no money at all has been sent from G8 nations, despite the G8 Deauville Partnership earmarking US$20 billion for Arab Spring nations.

A total of US$7 billion was promised from the Gulf. The United Kingdom pledged to split £110 million between Egypt and Arab Spring initiator Tunisia. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development says G8 money should start arriving in June, when the presidential election is scheduled.

The African Development Bank approved US$1.5 billion in loans whilst Mubarak still held power but, despite discussions since last March, no further funding has been agreed. The IMF offered a cheap loan six months ago, but was turned away. Foreign investment last year fell from US$6 billion to $375 million.

Rights, justice and public order remain contentious issues. Tantawi lifted the state of emergency on Tuesday, a day before the revolution’s anniversary, but left it in place to deal with the exception of ‘thuggery’. “This is not a real cancellation of the state of emergency,” said Islamist Wasat Party MP Essam Sultan. “The proper law designates the ending of the state of emergency completely or enforcing it completely, nothing in between.”

The same day, Amnesty International released a report on its efforts to establish basic human rights and end the death penalty in the country. Despite sending a ten-point manifesto to all 54 political parties, only the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (of the Egyptian Bloc liberals) and the left-wing Popular Socialist Alliance Party signed up. Measures included religious freedom, help to the impoverished, and rights for women. Elections did see a handful of women win seats in the new parliament.

The largest parliamentary group is the Freedom and Justice Party of the Muslim Brotherhood, who Amnesty say did not respond. Oral assurances on all but female rights and abolition of the death penalty were given by Al-Nour, the Salafist runners-up in the elections, but no written declaration or signature.

“We challenge the new parliament to use the opportunity of drafting the new constitution to guarantee all of these rights for all people in Egypt. The cornerstone must be non-discrimination and gender equality,” said Amnesty, noting that the first seven points were less contentious amongst the twelve responding parties. There was general agreement for free speech, free assembly, fair trials, investigating Mubarak’s 30-year rule for atrocities, and lifting the state of emergency. A more mixed response was given to ensuring no discrimination against LGBT individuals, whilst two parties claimed reports of Coptic Christian persecution are exaggerated.

Mubarak himself is a prominent contender for the death penalty, currently on trial for the killings of protesters. The five-man prosecution team are also seeking death for six senior police officers and the chief of security in the same case. Corruption offences are also being tried, with Gamal Mubarak and Alaa Mubarak accused alongside their father Hosni.

The prosecution case has been hampered by changes in witness testimony and there are complaints of Interior Ministry obstruction in producing evidence. Tantawi has testified in a closed hearing that Mubarak never ordered protesters shot.

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Hisham Talaat Moustafa, an ex-MP and real estate billionaire, is another death penalty candidate. He, alongside Ahmed Sukkari, was initially sentenced to death for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Lebanese pop star Suzanne Tamim. A new trial was granted on procedural grounds and he is now serving a fifteen-year term for paying Sukkari US$2 million to slit 30-year-old’s Tamim’s throat in Dubai. Her assassin was caught when police followed him back to his hotel and found a shirt stained with her blood; he was in custody within two hours of the murder.

The court of appeals is now set to hear another trial for both men after the convictions were once more ruled unsound.

A military crackdown took place last November, the morning after a major protest, and sparking off days of violence. Egypt was wary of a repeat this week, with police and military massed near Tahrir Square whilst volunteers manned checkpoints into the square itself.

The military has pardoned and released at least 2,000 prisoners jailed following military trials, prominently including a blogger imprisoned for defaming the army and deemed troublesome for supporting Israel. 26-year-old Maikel Nabil was given a three year sentence in April. He has been on hunger strike alleging abuse at the hands of his captors. He wants normalised relations with Israel. Thousands have now left Tora prison in Cairo.

24 February

Install The Window Blinds At The Earliest For Enjoying Many Benefits

Install The Window Blinds At The Earliest For Enjoying Many Benefits

by

Mannee Nixon

Well, windows also occupy a special place, and there are many ways that it can contribute to the overall decor of the home. Therefore, if you belong to the same group, you can change the complete look of your windows with the help of window blinds. Recently, the popularity of these blinds has increased to a great extent, and there are large numbers of homeowners that are investing on the blinds.

Features And Benefits:

There are of course large numbers of features and benefits that you can expect to get from the window blinds apart from the fact that they contribute in uplifting the d cor. When you install blinds in your windows, they can largely enhance the level of privacy in your home. This means that it will be easy for you to control the outsiders that will be able to take a look at your home. Things will be absolutely private, as per your needs.

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Available In Different Varieties:

You can expect to find the window blinds available in huge varieties. These are not only available in wide varieties of materials, but in addition to that, you can also expect to find a variety in the features, look, style, size and the design of these blinds. As a result, there is also a variation in the prices involved. Therefore, on the basis of your requirements, you will easily be able to select the one that ideally caters to your requirements without any difficulty. This in turn, will definitely help you, and you will also be satisfied with its installation.

Controlling Sunlight And Temperature:

The best thing that you would like about the

window blinds

is that these are designed in such a manner, so that it is absolutely easy for them to control the level of sunlight to enter into your room through the windows. It is largely up to you to decide the amount of sunlight that you would like to enter in each of the rooms. This is not the end. You can also completely be assured of the fact that it will definitely help a lot in controlling the amount of temperature in your room.

During the winters, you can let more sunlight enter into your room and warm your home. On the contrary, during the summers, you can restrict the amount of sun rays entering into your room, so that your room can be kept cool. The combination of these factors will reduce the usage of electronic appliances like air conditioner or room heater in different reasons. As a result, you can be quite sure of the fact that it will lower the bills each month, which will help you save a lot in a year.

Serve Useful Purposes:

Therefore, you can now be completely assured of the fact that the window blinds are designed in such a manner, so that it will definitely serve a utilitarian purpose at any season and any time. As a result, there is absolutely nothing for which you have to be worried. You can simply install them in the windows, and you can continue the benefits of these blinds, as a whole.

You will also be able to select the best collection of blinds likes Roller Blinds Collections, Wooden Venetian blinds that you want from which will surely be satisfactory for you.

Article Source:

ArticleRich.com

23 February

Australia/2005

Contents

  • 1 January
  • 2 February
  • 3 March
  • 4 April
  • 5 May
  • 6 June
  • 7 July
  • 8 August
  • 9 September
  • 10 October
  • 11 November
  • 12 December

[edit]

23 February

Do It Yourself Guide To Insulating Water Pipes

Do-It-Yourself Guide to Insulating Water Pipes by Scott RodgersProfessional plumbers charge high for their expert services and it may make sense to hire one and get some do-it-yourself training rather than calling him every now and then for small repairs. As we move further into bitter cold, the need for instantaneous hot water increases, but the initial flow of water is always cold because of the pipes being surrounded by cold temperature. Another problem affecting snowy places is that of frozen water inside the pipes. Insulating water pipes can reduce these problems or may even eliminate them in some areas. This article briefly discusses how you can insulate water pipes without hiring a plumber.First of all, measure the dimensions of the water pipes you want to insulate. You should note the measurements somewhere so that you won’t forget them, especially the outer diameter associated with each pipe. Make sure that there are no leakages in the pipes. If you find any leakage point, get that fixed before continuing with the insulation.Once you have checked all pipes and taken measurements, you need to decide which type of insulation you should use. Whatever insulation that you select, ensure you cover as much area as you can so that the heat that escapes is kept to a minimum. The most common material used in this regard is pre-formed molded insulation foam. Because of being common, you can easily get it for most sizes and lengths, and separate small pieces are available for spigots. In order to get the best installation, ensure that the inner diameter of the foam is about equal or only slightly larger than the outer diameter of the pipes. This will form a closure and so cool air will not be stuck between the pipelines and insulation.Upon acquiring the necessary materials, use a mild cleaning agent to remove any soot from the pipes. Also make sure there isn’t any oil or other dampness on the outer surface as this hinders with the installment of insulation material. After the pipes become dry, wrap the foam around it carefully without leaving any part of the pipe uncovered. Additionally, when attaching 2 molded foams at bends, it is a good idea to sever the foam at forty-five degree angles, such that they enclose the whole bend and don’t leave any space uncovered. Once you have successfully put it on the pipes, wrap some acrylic tape around it to ensure greater efficiency. You could also try using duct tape, though some plumbing experts prefer to employ acrylic tape. You can also use a wire or clamp rather than tape.If you are living in a place where pipe freezing occurs frequently, it’s highly recommended to insulate you water pipes even if you have to hire a plumber for this. That’s because water expands when it freezes, and this can cause even durable pipes to break. The pipes that break easiest are the ones located outside the house, such as a a pipe to a swimming pool. In the cold months, it is beneficial to empty water from the line and turn off the valve to halt additional water flow. If you find a pipe that is frozen, do not use naked fire to try to heat it up. The best thing would be to call a licensed plumber to be on the safe side.Now that you understand how to insulate your pipes, why not learn some more plumbing tips? Take a look at other plumbing articles by plumbing expert Scott Roger, a master plumber who is currently writing content for both a plumbing and non-plumbing audience. For these, check out eLocalPlumbers.comArticle Source: eArticlesOnline.com

22 February

Britain’s top traffic cop faces driving ban

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

United Kingdom’s most senior traffic police officer faces charges of speeding at 90 mph in a 60 mph speed limit zone (the equivalent of speeding at 144 km/h in a 96 km/h zone). The Chief Constable of the South Yorkshire Police, Meredydd Hughes was allegedly caught speeding on the A5 road near Chirk in north Wales.

Hughes was caught by a camera that takes photographs of speeding cars. He is known as one of the main advocates for nationwide installation of such cameras.

Hughes is set to appear at Wrexham Magistrates Court on November 21, 2007. He faces a £1000 fine and a driving ban if convicted.

As the head of road policing within the Association of Chief Police Officers, Hughes can be considered the top traffic cop in the UK.

22 February

Swedish man uses webcam to broadcast suicide live on internet

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A 21-year-old Swedish man killed himself and broadcast it over the internet via his webcam feed Monday, after posting to a message board that he had swallowed some painkillers and was going to hang himself.

At 11:51 a.m. Central European Summer Time (0951 UTC), Marcus Jannes, a student from Järna, Stockholm, posted to the Mental Health Problems forum of Sweden’s Flashback message boards using the newly-registered username “LurifaxFlux”, stating that he was going to hang himself, adding that he had already swallowed 100mg of dexofen and 1500mg of paracetamol. He said that he had set up a webcam to record the event, and would post details later of a FTP server for people to watch.

People responded to his post almost immediately. Some offered messages of hope, such as, “How bad can it be? When everything is at its worst, it can only get better”, and “Think of poor people, mutilated people, people who are lame or blind. Living with a disability is hard. They can not change their lives! But you still have the ability to alter yours!” Others tried to keep him online by talking to him empathetically: “Is there anything that can make you change your mind?”, “Tell me about yourself.”

However, other users posted messages saying they didn’t believe him, wishing him luck with his attempt, and calling him an attention whore and a troll. They also goaded him by saying, “you won’t dare, you are too cowardly”, and offering advice on the best way to hang himself: “I recommend … you do it from a height that you can jump off so you are guaranteed to break your neck.”

In a later post, Jannes said that he had been feeling suicidal for about six months, but was too scared to actually attempt anything until he tried to strangle himself with his own hands. In response to questions, he stated that he was using a network cable to strangle himself because he didn’t have any rope, but he was worried that the cable would not be strong enough to take his weight. He also told them that he had Asperger syndrome and High-functioning autism, and was emotionally vulnerable and lacked normal social skills. He admitted to feeling lonely, and alluded to experiencing problems at school, but admitted that he had a good upbringing and had a rather good life. At around the same time, he also updated his Facebook status to say life was “just too difficult”, and that he was going to kill himself.

I wonder where I end up… Was life perhaps a test of how long you stand out? I love my family more than anything, but honestly you can’t live for someone else’s sake… It’s not like my life is bad at all, it’s actually really good. But sometimes it’s just too difficult. I can’t be bothered to write more now.

A short while later, at 1:06 p.m., Jannus posted the FTP server URL and login details, and stated that he needed to hurry up because, “I’m beginning to feel that I might change my mind.” At this point, people who logged on to the server found a series of still images taken every two seconds, showing a young man dressed in sweatpants and t-shirt, in his apartment, hanging network cable from a doorway.

At 1:13 p.m., the images show that Jannus stepped out of the shot, and at this point he posted another message to Flashback. “Alright, let’s do it,” he said. The next series of images show him walking back to the cable and hooking it around his neck. He slumps to the floor, and his body begins shaking while his head and arms turn dark purple until he stops moving. His skin color then lessens to a pink-red shade as his limp body hangs motionless for a number of minutes.

On the message board, people start to realize the seriousness of the events: “Given the last pictures, it looks like [this was serious]”, “holy crap, he has done it already”, “okay it’s getting nasty”, “this is quite sick. Not okay at all,” and “I’ve seen a lot online but this is the worst I’ve seen in my entire life” were some of the comments posted. At 1:32 p.m., a user asks, “Did someone call the police?”.

The Södertälje police state that they were first alerted to the incident at 1:44 p.m. At 2:06 p.m., the image feeds show two police officers charging into the apartment and releasing the cable from around Jannus’ neck. They begin administering CPR. Two minutes later, two paramedics arrive, and they take over CPR while one of the officers looks around the room at cables; the back of a flat-screen television set; and presumably the computer, as the images finally stop being uploaded.

Södertälje Polisen spokesperson Lotta Thyni confirmed that Jannus had died. “The police performed CPR until paramedics arrived on the scene, but his life could not be saved.”

The police have so far declined to comment on how the suicide will be investigated, but Sven-Erik Alhem, a chief prosecutor in Sweden told Aftonbladet, that psychologically inducing a person to commit suicide, or contributing to the act, can be classified as incitement to murder, and is a criminal offense.

The “Hängning” thread at Flashback continued to receive new posts until the thread was locked by a site moderator at 5:27 p.m. It had received a total of 630 posts over 53 pages. “It is unfortunate if someone knew that the man planned to kill himself and did not do anything to stop him,” said Thyni, but added that police can not control how people use social forums on the web. “They lack empathy”.

The Flashback message boards are a controversial topic in Sweden. They are seen as being similar to the English language website 4chan, and especially its “Random” /b/ board. The Flashback members are able to post with a great amount of freedom of speech. The site has been investigated by the Swedish police on numerous occasions and is under constant surveillance by the Swedish Security Service due to its members’ abundant discussions about drug use, child pornography, race science, bestiality and other controversial subjects. Other controversies include sexual harassment of celebrities and politicians, open racism, forced disconnection from its internet service provider, the hosting of nazi sites, and the sabotage of telephone votes in TV shows.

“I do not remember such a situation in Sweden before,” says Anders Ahlqvist from the Swedish national police force. A similar incident occurred in Sweden in 2008, when Oscar Ores Balingen, 34, from Stockholm attempted to kill himself online. In that case, the police were able to reach Balingen before he died, and managed to save his life. “People said that I would not dare, but it made me only more triggered,” Balingen told Aftonbladet. “I do not think they are taking the threats seriously. There is a terrible lack of empathy on these forums.”

In November 2008, a 19-year-old male from Pembroke Pines, Florida used his webcam to broadcast his suicide on the live video site Justin.tv. Abraham K. Biggs, 19, committed suicide by taking an overdose of opiates and benzodiazepine, which had been prescribed for his bipolar disorder. He also made online threats of suicide and advertised his intentions to broadcast it live over the internet.

22 February

Hitachi Magic Wand The Best Sex Toy}

Submitted by: Derek

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The magic wand is very effective in aiding as well as soothing muscle pain and other types of pain in the body including those at the back and shoulders. It works by facilitating regeneration of the dead cells and gently stimulates the body to produce new cells. You can adjust the speed of the vibration depending on your preference. Adjusting is very easy because the magic wand has simple features. As a matter of fact, it comes with a long handle making it easy for you to reach those distant areas of your body that cannot be reached by bare hands alone. Its head is very helpful as this is the one producing the vibration with a diameter of 2.5 inches as well as handle of 9 inches.

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21 February

2006 “Stolenwealth” Games to confront Commonwealth Games in Melbourne

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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