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Thursday, August 17, 2000
Indigenous protest camp planned near Olympic site in Sydney

 SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Thousands of supporters will join daily protests at the Sydney Olympic Games to focus attention on the concerns of Australia's Aborigines, demonstration organizers said Thursday.

 A group called Protest 2000 said in a statement it would set up camp at Bicentenary Park near the main Olympics site at Homebush for the duration of the Games next month.

 It will begin a campaign of protests aimed at highlighting the concerns of the world's indigenous people with a march to the nearby Olympics site on the day of the opening ceremony, spokesman Trevor Close said.

 It was unclear if the group would be able to build the camp at Bicentenary Park, as it has not received approval from Games organizers or local government.

 Aborigines comprise about 386,000 of Australia's 19 million population. Government surveys show they have the poorest levels of health and education, and the highest rates of alcoholism, infant mortality and imprisonment.

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