Twitter employees heavily favored Biden over Trump ahead of ‘priceless’ ban


President Biden was the clear favorite of Twitter employees when it came to campaign donations during the 2020 election cycle.

Twitter employees and their immediate family members donated $193,443 to the Biden campaign compared to $3,023 to the Trump campaign, records show.

GOOGLE, MICROSOFT, VERIZON ON BIDEN INAUGURATION COMMITTEE DONOR LIST

In fact, Biden was the largest recipient of Twitter-affiliated campaign donations during the 2020 election cycle. However, Twitter’s employees don’t rank anywhere near the top of Biden donors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies remotely during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Facebook and Twitter’s actions around the closely contested election on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, in Washington.  (Bill Clark/Pool via AP)

Their donations to Democrats versus Republicans was a 98% to 2% split. Twitter employees gave $783,990 to Democrats and $12,333 to Republicans.

On top of that, Twitter gave Biden what Politico dubbed a “priceless” gift when the social media platform permanently banned Trump earlier in January. Prior to the ban, Trump’s tweets often shaped the news cycle during his four years in office. 

Meanwhile, big tech companies including Amazon, Google, and Microsoft were among Biden’s inaugural committee donors, according to a list released by the Biden Inaugural Committee of all contributors who donated over $200. The list did not specify how much each donor contributed.

FACEBOOK’S SANDBERG PRAISES BIDEN ABORTION POLICY, CRITICIZES SOUTH CAROLINA PARTIAL BAN

Big Tech employees have landed top posts on the Biden-Harris transition team and Republicans are raising concerns that the additions to the team and the next administration are “evidence” that Silicon Valley “works hand in glove” with Democratic politicians.

In this Jan. 27, 2021, file photo President Joe Biden signs a series of executive orders on climate change, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

In this Jan. 27, 2021, file photo President Joe Biden signs a series of executive orders on climate change, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

At least nine different Biden transition team members or advisers previously held positions at Facebook, Google, or Twitter. Several transition team members worked in the Obama administration before joining one of the tech giants and then later reentering politics as part of the Biden team.

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Corporate donations to inaugural committees are not unusual, and Microsoft was listed as giving $500,000 in equipment to Trump’s inauguration committee in 2017, CNBC reported. Google was listed as giving $285,000.

Fox Business’ Brittany De Lea and Fox News’ Peter Hasson and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

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How did pro-Donald Trump protesters get into Washington DC’s heavily guarded Capitol building?


Donald Trump supporters in Washington DC broke into the Capitol building, attacking police, smashing windows and knocking down doors as Congress was expected to vote to affirm Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential win.

Rioters made it into the House Chambers, where US lawmakers had to be evacuated, and also into the offices of some officials.

So how did they get pass heavily-guarded police and into the building?

Some Capitol police let people through barricades

Remarkable vision emerged online of police opening barricades to let people walk towards Capitol Hill.

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Protesters walk through police lines outside Capitol building.

Unconfirmed vision that was live streamed on social media also showed police guards inside the Capitol taking photos with some protesters.

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Rioters seen posing with police on social media.

Protesters came prepared with riot gear

Videos posted online also showed protesters fighting with Capitol police officers as police fired pepper spray to keep them back.

But some protesters brought a dispersing spray of their own.

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Many were also seen wearing gas masks and protective helmets.

Crowd antics ramped up when people began storming police lines on Capitol Hill and smashing windows.

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Play Video. Duration: 1 minute 24 seconds

Trump supporters smash windows and break into the US Capitol.

In one video a protester is seen smashing a window with what appears to be a police shield.

Crowds gathered to ambush entrances of the building, pushing guards out of the way.

Others dispersed around the front of the Capitol and some climbed scaffolding and banged on windows.

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Protesters use scaffolding to bang on windows outside the Capitol building.

They shoved into the Capitol’s corridors and quickly made their way up multiple levels of the building and into the Senate chambers.

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Play Video. Duration: 1 minute 25 seconds

Protesters made their way to the Senate chamber.

Capitol police seemed to be outnumbered.

The White House said National Guard troops along with other federal protective services were sent the Capitol to help end the violent occupation.

Armed FBI agents were also seen wearing bullet-proof vests on the streets of Washington.

Once they got inside, guns were drawn

In the House Chamber, guards were forced to barricade the entrance and draw their guns as protesters attempted to break in.

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Guns drawn on the House floor as protesters try to storm doors.

One woman was shot and died, but it remains unclear how the incident unfolded.

Despite the police presence inside, a protester made it into the office of House speaker, Nancy Pelosi.

One man managed to sit at her desk and rest his feet on it.

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The same man also made it back outside the Capitol building.

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Protesters eventually entered the House Chamber and posed in front of the Speaker’s chair while holding American flags.

Other people also began looting.

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Some protesters walked freely out of the building observed closely by guards.

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Play Video. Duration: 1 minute 42 seconds

Protesters walk freely from the Capitol building following riots.

Order began to be restored when more national guards showed up to enforce a 6:00pm curfew in the city.

Heavy force and tear gas pushed people back from the steps of the Capitol.

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Claremont killer Bradley Edward’s crimes still weigh heavily on family of Sarah Spiers


When Don Spiers sat in the packed courtroom in the WA Supreme Court in late September he had everything at stake. He had waited 25 years for some kind of justice for his daughter, Sarah.

Twenty-five years of unremitting agony. For a third of his life he had been grieving his child, not knowing what had happened to her.

Sarah Spiers had been the first of three young women to go missing in the wealthy Perth suburb of Claremont where a suspected serial killer had preyed in the mid-1990s. She was only 18. Hers was the only body not found and the lack of physical evidence meant her murder would be the hardest to prove.

Don Spiers says his family has part closure, but his daughter’s case remains unsolved.(Australian Story: Marcus Alborn)

Mr Spiers’ suffering has been immense. “It never leaves you,” he tells Australian Story 16 years after he was first interviewed by the program.

“No matter how hard you try, you can’t ignore it. There’s probably not an hour of any day that passes that I don’t think of Sarah. It was our lovely daughter and we’ll never forget that — never, never, ever.”

But after the biggest police investigation in WA history, Don Spiers would finally be in the same room as the man accused of brutally killing his little girl.

Bradley Robert Edwards was on trial for the murder of Sarah in January 1996, Jane Rimmer a few months later and Ciara Glennon, a 27-year-old lawyer, in early 1997. All of them had been making their way home from clubs in Claremont when they disappeared.

Three sets of parents became connected by the unthinkable, a profound connection that would sustain them through the trial and beyond the verdict.

Three men stand talking in front of a billboard appealing for information about missing teenager Sarah Spiers.
Don Spiers (l) in front of a poster appealing for help about the disappearance of his daughter Sarah in 1996.(ABC News)

Grief for a life not fully lived

Jenny Rimmer still goes to the cemetery and talks to her daughter, Jane.

“She was a lovely little girl. Very bubbly. She was just a delight to be around.”

Her daughter was 23 and working in childcare when she had her life brutally taken.

Ms Rimmer’s sadness is for the life she never got to live. “I miss her. I just think to myself, she would be married with probably three or four children. She loved children. It’s just so sad that she never got to do that.”

The arrest of Edwards in December 2016 came as a complete shock to her.

“I never thought they’d find anybody,” Ms Rimmer said.

“It had been going on for so long and I just thought it was a lost cause, really.”

For Mr Spiers, it was not wholly unexpected.

“I’ve always had a gut feeling that he would eventually be arrested because forensics were getting better and the police were very determined to get an end result.”

Jenny Rimmer
Jenny Rimmer says she still often wonders what her daughter Jane would have grown to be and achieve.(Australian Story: Marcus Alborn)

Former UK detective superintendent Robin Napper had advocated for a full case review on Australian Story back in 2004.

“It took a new generation of detectives to come along who understood forensics, who went back to all the old material and an avalanche opened up before them,” he says now.

That involved the monumental task of finding previously untested DNA evidence, linking that to earlier cases, the discovery of crucial fibre evidence within the exhibits, and an undercover operation to gather DNA from their suspect.

Edwards an ‘enigma of the dark’

A Telstra technician, Edwards had been hiding in plain sight — utterly ordinary.

But he was, prosecutor Carmel Barbagallo had argued, “an enigma of the dark”.

Now the time of reckoning was here. After a gruelling seven-month trial, Justice Stephen Hall was handing down his verdicts in September.

People were arriving outside the building at 4:00am. By 9:00am the traffic was stopped. The entire city seemed invested in the outcome.

Says Mr Spiers of Edwards, the defendant: “He never, through the duration of the hearings, looked back at the victims or their families, not once.

“He just sat there and scribbled with a pencil and took not too much notice of what was actually happening in the court.”

Here was the one person who could possibly tell them what had happened to their daughter, who could lessen their pain.

“He was actually sitting right there with all the answers, I found that very frustrating,” Mr Spiers said.

“He never spoke. Never went in the witness box once, never spoke about anything once.”

An illustration of a man in a business shirt and tie
Edwards did not take the stand during the trial.(ABC News: Anne Barnetson)

For Jenny Rimmer to see the man accused of abducting and killing her daughter in court: “I just hated the man for what he’d done to those girls.”

After 20 minutes of preliminary comments, Justice Stephen Hall turned to Sarah’s murder. He asked the accused, Bradley Edwards, to stand and uttered the words the courtroom was hanging on.

“I find the defendant not guilty.”

They were two words Don Spiers had been hoping not to hear, but were not unexpected.

“We knew that there was a chance that he would not get convicted on Sarah because of the lack of evidence,” says Spiers, a shearing contractor from Darkan, 200kms south-west of Perth. “But in our hearts, we knew that he was guilty.”

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Justice Hall went on to deliver guilty verdicts for the murders of the other two women, Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon. For those families, at least, a part of their nightmare was over.

“We were all very, very relieved and happy that we got the result we wanted,” says Jenny Rimmer. “And it just seemed unreal that finally he’d been convicted.”

Mr Spiers, too, found comfort in those verdicts.

“That gave us great peace of mind that he was going to be put away and taken out of the community,” he said. “He’ll never bother anyone again.”

A composite of a police sketch and a photograph of Bradley Edwards
Edwards hid in plain sight for more than 20 years before his arrest in 2016.(Supplied)

‘We’ve suffered for a third of our lives’

When Mr Spiers was first interviewed for Australian Story in 2004, eight years after Sarah went missing, he spoke of sitting in the front lounge room waiting for Sarah to walk in while knowing in his heart she never would. “Every night, I just went to bed and cried myself to sleep.”

He had been tormented by as many as 300 clairvoyants offering cryptic clues to the whereabouts of her body.

“I remember one night I was down at Salter Point, thrashing around the swampy areas at 11 o’clock at night, probably bawling my eyes out and getting nowhere, burning up time and energy,” Mr Spiers said.

Then he felt that until Sarah was found the family would never have closure. How does he feel all these years later, with her likely killer behind bars?

“I feel that we’ve had part closure,” he said. “This situation has been devastating on my family. We’ve suffered it now for more than a third of our lives, Carol and I, and it’s not going to end. We will live with this for the rest of our lives.”

Two sample contains with yellow lids in a clear evidence bag
Fingernail scrapings from Ciara proved to be a crucial key to unmasking the suspect.(Supplied)
A woman smiles wide holding a certificate and wearing graduation gown
Ciara was 27 when she was murdered.(Supplied)

Mr Spiers credits the trial’s prosecutor, Carmel Barbagallo, and the lead detective on the case, Joe Marappodi, for helping him and wife Carol prepare themselves for the possibility of a not guilty verdict.

Over the course of the trial, they often visited the Spiers at their home, explaining exactly what was going on.

“There were tears between the lot of us,” Mr Spiers recalled. “Sometimes it was pretty difficult but when they left, we had peace of mind and relief.

“We knew that they were putting in a mammoth effort and they didn’t hold any anything back.

“If it wasn’t for them, I would have been in quite a bit of difficulty mentally because they are the ones that actually helped me get through,” he said.

“I don’t think the public really know quite how hard they’ve worked. I know that some of the men in the taskforce actually had breakdowns because they were so frustrated and determined.”

In his judgment, Justice Hall made it clear that he believed Edwards was responsible for the murder of Sarah Spiers but that it could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

Despite his disappointment, Mr Spiers understood the significance of this. “Maybe if he was convicted for Sarah he could have had grounds for an appeal.”

Families forge bond through trauma

The Claremont killings had hung over Perth for nearly a quarter of a century, traumatising the victim’s families and striking fear into its residents.

The parents and families of the victims had been brought together by the worst thing that could happen.

“We had a great bond with the other victims and families,” Mr Spiers said. “All of those families gave Carol and I extra support because they knew the predicament that we were in.

“We will remain friends for the rest of our lives. They’ve been great. They’ve been absolutely great.”

Sarah Spiers
The body of Sarah Spiers has never been found.(Supplied: Don Spiers)

After the verdict, Sarah’s parents went up into the hills and “just escaped for a couple of days because of the fear of the media”.

Will the one person who might know where Sarah is ever tell them?

Mr Spiers is doubtful but one thing he knows for sure is that police have not and will not give up on her. “It’s definitely not over yet, the Commissioner’s reassured us that it’s not over. They will continue to pursue in regards to Sarah.”

Watch Australian Story’s To His Door, 8:00pm (AEDT), on ABCTV and iview.



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Turkey’s is Sending a Message with its New Unmanned, Heavily Armed Gunboat


A pair of Turkish defense companies, METEKSAN and Ares, revealed a jointly built unmanned boat, named ULAQ. The small vessel is the first of what is planned to be a line of at least several unmanned surface ships of varying sizes and capabilities.

According to METEKSAN, their ULAQ has a some pretty impressive abilities for an initial prototype: “[The ] ULAQ…has been built from advanced composites, has 400 km range, 65 km/h speed, day/night vision capabilities, encrypted communication infrastructure, which can be operated from mobile vehicles and headquarters or from sea platforms such as aircraft carriers or frigates, will be used for missions like intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, surface warfare, asymmetric warfare, escort missions, strategic infrastructure protection.”

Artistic renderings of the ULAQ shows it with a centrally located weapons station with two types of missiles, the 70mm Cirit missile arranged in a four-missile pod, as well as two L-UMTAS missiles.

Though both missiles were originally designed as anti-personnel and anti-tank air-to-surface missiles respectively, it is presumed that they have been modified for maritime use. Both the missile systems and the boat itself were designed with “maximum indigenousness.” And here’s why that matters.

Tactics and Strategy

The timing of the small, armed but unmanned boat comes at a trying time for Turkey. The country’s eastern Mediterranean coast has been the scene of tensions recently. Relations between Greece and Turkey—both members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance—have been strained due to conflicting maritime claims in the Aegean Sea, part of the Mediterranean Sea that separates the two countries.

In particular, Turkey has sent fossil fuel exploration ships to parts of the Sea that are claimed by Greece, to which Athens replied by sending several Hellenic Naval ships to the area. This in turn prompted France and the United States to send warships to the area as well in a bid to keep the peace between the two treaty allies that nonetheless have experienced very strained relations in recent years.

Postscript

Ares and METEKSAN’s press releases announcing the new drone boat left no room for doubt about what their ULAQ gunboat is intended for. The report even quoted METEKSAN’s CEO, who stated that “We have once again understood the importance of the ‘Blue Homeland’ defence, Economic Exclusive Zone protection, protection of maritime borders of the Turkish Peninsula especially with recently emerging disputes…May ULAQ bring the best of luck and success to Turkish Armed Forces and to Blue Homeland.”

Make no mistake—Ankara is putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to Turkish interests in the Mediterranean.

Caleb Larson is a Defense Writer with The National Interest. He holds a Master of Public Policy and covers U.S. and Russian security, European defense issues, and German politics and culture.

Image: Ares Shipyard.



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Breaking down the right time to buy the heavily discounted reopening stocks


A person walks in front of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in lower Manhattan on September 21, 2020 in New York City.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Premiums and discounts are fascinating for investors. Nine months ago, you couldn’t give away a huge house in most suburban neighborhoods outside major U.S. cities. Now, those same houses sell at a huge premium to their 2019 prices, and penthouses on the 60th floor in Midtown Manhattan have slipped to a steep discount from their pre-Covid level.

The same pricing mechanisms usually applies to concert tickets, sporting events, and hotel rooms, but whenever we encounter severe natural or man-made disruptions, we discard past premium and discount rules. For example, once fracking became a feasible technology to expand oil output, the underlying commodity price began a transition from scarcity to surplus, eventually driving down the price of the commodity, the public shares of its producers, local housing that had run up in price, and the wages offered to workers at fracking wells.

So, what about the premiums and discounts arising from Covid-19? We have witnessed the extraordinary surge in business and stock price of companies undeterred or aided by a world of remote living and working, as well as, those focused on combatting the virus. Among the many Covid-premium stocks are Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Zoom, Paypal, Moderna, Teladoc, Home Depot, Target, Lululemon, and Chipotle.

On the flip side are the sectors such as airlines and hotels with limited ability to deliver their services remotely or without too-close human interaction. The Covid-discount weighs heavily on the sales and stock prices of Carnival, AMC, Delta, Wynn Resorts and Nordstrom, among others, who are part of the cohort of businesses that will not recover until our economy and society can truly reopen.



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As coronavirus lockdowns bit, Aurora started drinking heavily. Now, she’s formed a solution


Aurora Bayle knew that something had to change when it got to two bottles of wine a day and the anxiety of coronavirus felt overwhelming.

The Darwin resident had been working a challenging full-time role in aviation but had lost her job earlier this year as the coronavirus restrictions began to bite.

“I was working very long hours and I went from working a lot to nothing. And then the drinking started,” she said.

“When I got up to two bottles, I was like: that is way too much.

“And I realised quickly enough that I could wake up and drink earlier and earlier or I could just stop, which is what I decided to do.”

Ms Bayle put herself voluntarily on the NT’s Banned Drinker Register, a list of people prohibited from buying takeaway alcohol in the NT.

But it was a lonely decision, the trained chef said.

Aurora Bayle is the founder of the social media group Darwin Sober Social Club.(ABC News: Henry Zwartz)

“Darwin is pretty big for drinking. And it is hard not to have a social life here without having a drink, so something needed to change.”

That change was the establishment of a group on social media for fellow like-minded “socially sober” non-drinkers — the Darwin Sober Social Club.

To her surprise, the group quickly swelled from a few people to hundreds in a matter of days.

“The reaction was great, I wasn’t expecting that many reactions, I wasn’t trying to create a group, I was just trying to find a few people who would relate to my story as well.”

A woman on her phone.
Aurora was working in the aviation industry when she lost her job amid the coronavirus pandemic. She soon found she was struggling with alcohol.(ABC News: Henry Zwartz)

The club encourages members to organise non-alcoholic social activities.

In recent weeks, as lockdowns have eased, the group has organised mocktail classes and games nights.

Dan Thurling, who has lived in Darwin for 27 years, runs a fishing charter business.

When he joined the club, he invited the group for a day out on the water.

A photo of a man smiling.
Dan Thurling runs Darwin Fishing Charters and has been a Darwin local for 27 years. He said he would take some of the group out fishing.(ABC News: Nicholas Hynes)

“It wasn’t easy to find people where the alcohol drinking was not the main activity, for me I prefer that the main activity is something you are doing and then if some people want to have a drink then that’s okay,” he said.

“I thought this group was a good group to join as a means of getting to meet people that are thinking the same as you.”

“Too many people are just thinking they want to go out and drink a slab of beer and then basically fall into bed drunk, basically.”

Aurora Bayle with a large fish
The group went on a fishing charter as part of member’s activities.(Supplied)

Alcohol use spikes during pandemic

Ms Bayle is not alone in her experience struggling with alcohol during the coronavirus pandemic.

A recent study by the Australian National University (ANU) found almost 20 per cent of people surveyed drank more during the lockdown than they normally did.

And women, in particular, struggled; the study found female drinkers were 1.3 times more likely to increase their drinking than men.

A photo of a man at a desk.
Banyan House has seen a rise in the number of people seeking help for their alcohol addiction amid the coronavirus pandemic.(ABC News: Henry Zwartz)

For Dorian Goodall, who works at Banyan House, an alcohol and drug rehabilitation centre in Darwin, the figure is not surprising.

“We are definitely seeing more people calling us, telling us they have serious alcohol problems.

Many have lost jobs, they have family, mortgage stresses or maybe their life has been turned upside down because of the pandemic, Mr Goodall said.

“Some had existing alcoholism and they have just realised they have an issue, but others have turned to alcohol more at this time,” he said.

A photo of a man
Banyan House offers drug and alcohol rehabilitation services to people across Darwin.(ABC News: Henry Zwartz)

Some of those getting in touch have turned to alcohol because their drug of choice has dried up, as supply is cut off with hard borders between states.

“We have people calling saying they have turned to alcohol because it is readily available, while the supply of other drugs like methamphetamines have dried up,” he said.

A photo of a mobile phone's screen with a facebook page on it.
Darwin’s Sober Social Club has already attracted more than 200 members in the first few weeks since it was established.(ABC News: Henry Zwartz)

A networking opportunity for ‘coronavirus refugees’

Alice Springs resident Emma Gimenez was in Indonesia on holiday when news of the escalating lockdown in Australia reached her.

Ms Gimenez made a snap decision to get out of the country and found herself in Darwin.

A photo of a young woman
Emma Gimenez was travelling in Indonesia on holiday when coronavirus struck, forcing her to flee to Darwin.(ABC News: Henry Zwartz)

“I was in Darwin with no friends, and a lockdown. It was a big struggle and I found it really challenging,” she said.

“Effectively, I was a coronavirus refugee, I was stranded,” she said.

The Darwin Sober Social Club offered Ms Gimenez a means to connect with other like-minded people.

“Social events involving lots of alcohol weren’t really an option,” she said.

A photo of a group of people at the pub.
The group enjoy a range of activities together including a games night at a local Darwin pub.(ABC News: Nicholas Hynes)

“I had gone cold turkey in the past. As a teenager, I had a period of drinking way too hard and now I only occasionally enjoy a drink,” she said.

“So I joined the group because I found it a bit challenging where sometimes you feel like you have to drink to make friends.”

“I drink now only on occasion and I am still a fun person!”



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SA Police deployment of ‘highly visible’ heavily armed unit prompts public backlash


South Australian police have defended a new security unit after public backlash against the presence of heavily armed officers on streets and at major events.

The rapid-response unit, dubbed the Security Response Section (SRS), comprises officers who have received advanced training to respond to terrorist situations, and carry semi-automatic weapons.

The section began patrolling public areas earlier this week, with police advising officers would be “highly visible” in areas including Adelaide Central Market, Rundle Mall, Adelaide Oval and the city’s main railway station.

SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens would not disclose whether the SRS would be deployed to patrol a Black Lives Matter Rally due to take place in Adelaide on Saturday.

“It’s not the normal course for us to disclose our operational tactics.

“Being deployed into the central business district is something that I would expect them to be doing.”

It is unclear whether heavily-armed police officers will be sent to a protest this weekend.(ABC News: Lincoln Rothall)

Police have previously said the SRS would provide “an extra layer of protection” at events where “large crowds gather”.

But the unit has been met with criticism, with police forced to switch off comments on an Instagram post spruiking the SRS because “people were using abusive and offensive language”.

An online petition has been launched calling on SA Police and the State Government to “immediately and permanently disband” the SRS.

The petition’s creator, Ripley Newbold, said he started it after he saw images of police officers holding assault rifles in Rundle Mall.

“I couldn’t quite understand why we would need something like that,” he said.

“I felt the justification SAPOL has given for their existence, it’s really flimsy at best.”

Adelaide resident Ripley Newbold at a computer.
Ripley Newbold created the online petition calling for the disbandment of the SRS.(ABC News: Dana Morse)

Natalie Wade, from the group Australian Lawyers for Human Rights, acknowledged the need to protect the public from terrorism, but also expressed concern.

“It’s something we haven’t seen a lot of in Australia,” she said.

Unit will tackle ‘lone hostile actors’

The petition was signed by more than 3,500 people in its first 24 hours online, and has gained traction on social media platforms.

Mr Newbold said it was “disturbing” to think that the force would patrol the streets of Adelaide.

“The message they need to send is: ‘we’re here to protect the community’, and the message that it sends is: ‘I’m ready to shoot the second I feel threatened’,” he said.

“That’s not the type of policing I want in my community.”

A line of SA Police officers at a firing range.
Officers armed with semi-automatic weapons started patrolling the streets of Adelaide earlier this week.(SA Police)

Police on Friday defended the unit, saying it would significantly bolster public safety.

“Security Response Section has been established to protect the community of South Australia,” Commissioner Stevens said.

On its website, SA Police said SRS officers “go through an intensive and specialised training program” in addition to their general police training.

“SRS officers are highly trained in the use of all their tactical options and in the safe handling and use of firearms,” SA Police said.

“They are focused on prevention and response to terrorism-related incidents, domestic events of a violent nature and safely managing major events in South Australia.”



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