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A man draws a portrait of a visitor to the tent embassy by one of the fires. This section of tents houses female elders who call themselves the ‘Grannies’.

Joe tending the ‘sacred fire’

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The copper smelter ‘Stack’ in Port Kembla, built in 1965, came down today at 11.16am. The smelter itself was decommissioned around 10 years ago. The Stack’s demolition had been planned and postponed for years – partly because it was thought to possibly contain asbestos; and partly, I think, because it was such a defining part of the coastal landscape that many people couldn’t imagine it gone.

Thousands of people waited for hours in various locations around ‘Port’ and Wollongong to witness the event. A siren was supposed to sound exactly 10 minutes before detonation; no siren was heard before explosives fired and the edifice started to fall.

For the first time I used a phone to document an event. So far I can see advantages and limitations through my (very limited) experience.

… [Please see my iphone video of the demolition below]

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The copper smelter ‘Stack’ in Port Kembla, built in 1965, came down today at 11.16am.  The smelter itself was decommissioned around 10 years ago.  The Stack’s demolition had been planned and postponed for years – partly because it was thought to possibly contain asbestos; and partly, I think, because it was such a defining part of the coastal landscape that many people couldn’t imagine it gone.

Yesterday (August 3rd), people from the Aboriginal Community in Redfern hosted a ‘Stand and Unite’ demonstration in support of Trayvon Martin and in protest against racial profiling (and racism generally). People from diverse backgrounds wore hoodies in solidarity with Trayvon and to express their shock at Trayvon’s murderer recently being acquitted. There were some inspiring speeches – parents in particular speaking about how they want their children to grow up peacefully and safely.

Here is how the New York Times reported the acquittal of Trayvon’s killer –

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/14/us/george-zimmerman-verdict-trayvon-martin.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

“That child had every right to do what he was doing, walking home,” said John Guy, a prosecutor in the case. “That child had every right to be afraid of a strange man following him, first in his car and then on foot. And did that child not have the right to defend himself from that strange man?”