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Monday, August 14, 2000
Sydney council bids to scale-down Aboriginal tent embassy

 SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- A Sydney Council has moved to evict Aboriginal campaigners from a tent embassy that was set up in inner-city Sydney to highlight Australian indigenous issues during the Olympics.

 The South Sydney Council served tent embassy representatives with a legal injunction Monday for alleged breaches of health, safety and noise regulations.

 More than 36 tents dot Victoria Park and up to a hundred activists have moved into the park since July 14. The South Sydney Council is seeking a reduction in the number of tents on site and wants the embassy area partitioned off from the public space.

 Tent embassy spokeswoman Isabell Coe said Aboriginal people would refuse to leave the embassy because the council had welcomed them into the park and was now acting in bad faith.

 "I don't think (the council) has been entirely honest," Coe said. "They led us right to this spot when we walked into this park.

 "They welcomed us here, they welcomed us all day the next day, they told us it was only appropriate that the Aboriginal tent embassy should be here."

 Coe said the attempted eviction was contrary to Olympic ideals.

 "The Olympics are supposed to be about peace and justice and fair play for everyone -- what about our justice?" she told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

 The council, the local government authority in the area, has declined to comment on the issue.

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