The flag flies over Aboriginal Tent Embassy
Despite an order obtained by the South Sydney Council in the Land and Environment Court to clear the Aboriginal Tent Embassy from Sydney's Victoria Park, the Aboriginal flag still flies and the Ceremonial Fire which burns continuously is still burning. The Tent Embassy is one of a number of actions taking place in the long struggle of the Aboriginal people for their rights and for recognition of their prior sovereignty, occupation and ownership of the Australian continent. The South Sydney Council has advanced what can only be described as spurious and petty reasons for their appeal to the Environment Court. The Tent Embassy occupies only a small corner of the large Victoria Park and is situated a long way from the nearest road and from residential areas. It is however adjacent to Sydney University where the Student Representative Council is giving strong practical and moral support to the Embassy. The Council's arguments that public safety is jeopardised, that it creates noise for local residents and that there is a loss of park amenities to daily park users is sheer nonsense. The Tent Embassy is clean and tidy as any visitor to the Embassy will see and there is a ban on alcohol and drugs. Before the Court action the South Sydney Council attempted to impose severe conditions on the Embassy which would have virtually rendered it inoperative. There are good grounds for believing that the moves of the Council are related to the coming Olympics with an attempt by authorities to push any Aboriginal actions to the sidelines where it is hoped they will be out of sight and so out of mind. The action of the Council may have the opposite result to that intended. The Embassy is already being visited by overseas tourists coming for the Olympics and by overseas journalists. It is expected that the Tent Embassy may appeal against the decision of the Land and Environment Court but in any case the spirit and quiet determination of the Aboriginal people staging the Tent Embassy suggests that they will not be moved.