BRISBANE - Tensions are escalating in a Brisbane park where Aboriginal protesters are involved in a standoff with more than 100 police sent in to evict them.
Rows of police are facing off against a similar number of protesters, who say they are exercising their sovereign right to occupy indigenous land that's home to a sacred site.
The Musgrave Park protesters, some with their faces painted white, are chanting around a camp fire to the sounds of clapsticks and a didgeridoo.
They say they're prepared to be arrested, but police said no arrests had been made so far.
Across the road from the park, activists and other indigenous people have set up a loud speaker, railing against Queensland's Newman government and assuring the park protesters they have their support.
Premier Campbell Newman on Tuesday said it was time for the protest to end, and that "squatter's camps" had no place in public parks.
The reference to squatters angered the protesters, who accused the premier of trying to generate a public perception that they were "just homeless people and riffraff".
Tent embassy organiser Wayne Wharton, who issued rallying cries at the protest on Wednesday morning, said he and others were prepared to be arrested.
"Basically what people have got to understand, this is not a camp ground - this is a stand - by First Nation's people or embassies right around the country," Mr Wharton told ABC radio.
"Whether (people) like it or not, or Greek Australia, or any other ethnic immigrant that's come to this country, we own this country, we're fighting for our birthright."
South Brisbane MP Jackie Trad, whose electorate takes in Musgrave Park, said the stand off was entirely avoidable, and the council should have engaged with protesters earlier.
"The last time a leader evicted Aboriginal people from Musgrave Park was in Joh Bjelke-Petersen in 1984," she told the ABC. "This is not leadership for the 21st century."