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The Institutional Racism of Australia on show for Obama in Darwin

Homeless moved on ahead of Obama visit

HOMELESS people are being moved away from Darwin's city centre ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit tomorrow.

The traditional land owners, the Larrakia people, have been asked to encourage the homeless to leave places on the president's program.

Larrakia Nation chief executive Ilana Eldridge says the "gentle suggestion" has come from the Northern Territory government.

"When we go in, people know it is time to move, otherwise the cops will come in heavy-handed later," Ms Eldridge said.

"We take them to another place where they will be comfortable and safe and then in a few days time they will drift back."

About 2000 people are thought to be homeless in the Darwin region each night, with 20 to 30 staying along The Esplanade, where Mr Obama will travel, Ms Eldridge said.

It's estimated about 95 per cent of Darwin's homeless population are of Aboriginal descent.

NT Chief Minister Paul Henderson says Mr Obama's security is paramount and there will be exclusion zones around where he is travelling.

"This is one of the facts of life when the president comes to town," Mr Henderson told ABC radio.

"That happens everywhere in the world, not just here in Darwin."

There have been reported sightings in recent days of US secret service personnel in town making arrangements ahead of the visit.

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