Sydney’s Darkest Day: The Cronulla Beach Debacle
Sunday night and Monday night, the streets in the Southern Beaches Area of Sydney became the scenes of riots and street battles with police, and it seems things are going to only get worse.
This direct problem only started last week over the continued “invasion” of the local beach at Cronulla by gangs of Lebanese youth. The battle of the beaches is an incredibly common debate, with locals often wishing for “outsiders” to stay away. But these gangs were different.
“They kick sand into your face and scream the most disgusting abuse for no reason at all. A lot of locals are too scared to surf down here any more”(DT 7th December 2005)
“The father of a 16-year-old girl said she had been too afraid to return to the beach after she and two friends were asked if they were virgins by a group of men.
When she failed to respond the gang told her she would be carried off the beach and it was only when she spotted a friend nearby that the two girls were able to escape.”(DT Same day)
Apparently this had been going on for a while, but things came to a head on the 4th of December when three volunteer surf lifesavers were attacked for no reason by four youths of Middle Eastern appearance, later joined by eight to ten other men.
This attacked swarmed the news and talkback radio, as a large protest was organised by locals for the following Saturday (10th December 2005) to try and drive away these undesirables.
Unfortunately that was not what occurred.
“A day of race-fuelled violence at Cronulla spread through other beachside suburbs in Sydney's south on Sunday night, with one man stabbed and at least 10 arrested.
About 5,000 people descended on Cronulla beach as mobs yelling racist chants chased down and bashed people of Middle Eastern appearance.” (TA 11th December 2005)
The article continues.
“Hopes that the violence had subsided by nightfall were dashed when, in an apparent retaliatory strike, a 23-year-old man was stabbed in the back outside a golf club at nearby Woolooware.
Two cars carrying a group of males, described by police as being of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern appearance, approached the man at about 10.25pm (AEDT) Sunday night.
Following a short conversation he was stabbed in the back, and was taken to hospital in a serious condition.
At about the same time, up to 50 carloads of youths smashed more than 100 cars with baseball bats and other weapons in the beach suburb of Maroubra.
Riot police were also called to the beachside suburb of Brighton-le-Sands to control groups of brawling youths who had reportedly thrown projectiles at police.” (TA Same Article).
The wave of violence continued on Monday night.
“Seven people have been injured, cars and shops trashed, and rock and flares hurled at police in a second consecutive night of mob violence in Sydney.
Eleven men were arrested as a new wave of unrest hit the city overnight in apparent reprisal attacks for Sunday's race riot at Cronulla, where alcohol-fuelled mobs chased and bashed people of Middle Eastern appearance.
The trouble began last night when a group of 200 mostly Muslim men gathered at Lakemba Mosque, in Sydney's south-west, apparently after rumours that an attack on the building was imminent.” (SMH 13th December)
This is a brief introduction to what has occurred over the past nights at Sydney. This whole series of Events raises some very serious questions about the nature of racial ethnic relations in Australia and most western countries.
Is this a reflection of what is going to happen further down the track?
And how could things have sunken so low?
How does the War on Terrorism play into these events?
Here are a list of the Articles I used:
(DT (Daily Telegraph))
http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117...-28698,00.html “Gangs Turn Cronulla Beach Into War Zone”
http://dailytelegraph.news.com.au/st...001022,00.html “Fight For Cronulla”
(SMH (Sydney Morning Herald))
http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/...236027186.html “More Arrests as Violence Escalates)
(TA (The Age))
http://www.theage.com.au/news/Nation...235936217.html “Sydney’s Racist Mob Violence Spreads”
And here are some other interesting articles.
http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/...236005956.html This one really raises the question of what the media did to flare tensions, particularly prolific right wing talk back radio host “Allen Jones”
http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/con...5/s1529136.htm An interesting talk back transcript full of vox pops from Cronulla locals.
Both these articles discuss the involvement of Neo-Nazi and White Supremacist groups.