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Aborigines split on protest tactics

By Chris PritchardSpecial to The Christian Science Monitor / October 19, 1982

Sydney, Australia

Aborigines stepped into the world spotlight this month when they protests at the Commonwealth Games in Australia. But some of them are not sure the demonstrations helped their cause.

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Protests at the sports stadium and illegal demonstrations through Brisbane streets resulted in more than 350 arrests of aborigines and some white supporters.

The protests may also be deepening a split among some of the aborigines over the proper way to gain acceptance of their claims to title to ancestral land in Queensland.

Australia's senior aboriginal civil servant, Charles Perkins, called for large demonstrations. He urged marching even when Queensland authorities refused to grant permission.

But some other aboriginal leaders believe a con-frontational approach will only produce negative public response to their cause.