Sunday, December 11, 2005

Aussie Riots: Payback actions by ethnic gangs.

Australia: As violence spreads beyond Cronulla into the suburbs. The one thing I am critical of the coverage so far in many of these papers is the lack of background given on how, when and why it is occurring.

"....Later, a 23-year-old man was injured and more than 40 cars smashed with baseball bats in an apparent revenge attack at Maroubra, in Sydney's east. A group of about 60 men of Middle Eastern appearance and armed with baseball bats smashed the windows of parked cars about 9pm. The group then clashed with local group, the Bra Boys, outside the Maroubra Bay Hotel. A 23-year-old Maroubra man was taken to Prince of Wales hospital after he was stabbed with a sharp implement, believed to be a stick or nail, in the hip. Later, a second 23-year-old man was stabbed in the back by a group of males, described as being of Middle Eastern appearance, at a golf club at Woolooware, in Sydney's south. He was taken to hospital in a serious condition. Riot police were also called to Brighton-le-Sands, in Sydney's south, overnight to control a group of about 200 brawling youths who had reportedly thrown projectiles at police. Twelve people were arrested at Cronulla. They will face Sutherland Local Court at a date to be fixed."
All the background information is here. Update# News.com.au has reaction from readers who for the most while not condoning the violence say they understands why it happened. More from SMH with a disturbing first hand account.
"A BARE-CHESTED youth in Quiksilver boardshorts tore the headscarf off the girl's head as she slithered down the Cronulla dune seeking safety on the beach from a thousand-strong baying mob. Up on the road, Marcus "Carcass" Butcher, 28, a builder from Penrith, wearing workboots, war-camouflage shorts and black singlet bearing the words "Mahommid was a camel f---ing faggot" raised both arms to the sky. "F--- off, Leb," he cried victoriously. It was one last act of cowardly violence on a sad and shameful day that began as a beach party celebrating a kind of perverted nationalism that was gatecrashed by racism. A crowd of at least 5000 - overwhelmingly under 25 - took over Cronulla's foreshore and beachside streets. Police were powerless as 200-odd ringleaders, many clutching bottles or cans of beer and smoking marijuana, led assaults on individuals and small groups of Lebanese Australians who risked an appearance during the six-hour protest. The horde swirled after fleeing individuals, sometimes sweeping past police lines and horses, chasing a quarry who sought safety in restaurants, shops, toilet blocks and ambulances and police vehicles. Some were snatched by police, who stood against the swarm and repelled the most violent with capsicum spray. After a local man, "Steely", had led a chant of "F--- off, Lebs", a young man demanded the megaphone and told the crowd it was "racist". A bottle arced in from the audience and shattered on his forehead. He fled "like a bleeding rabbit", someone yelled after him. Sometimes when a victim was cornered, the mob started singing Waltzing Matilda. Advance Australia Fair was similarly employed against obstructing police, and the usually good-natured "Aussie Aussie Aussie" chant in the mouths of the Cronulla crew assumed a menacing tone. Cronulla was possibly Australia's biggest racist protest since vigilante miners killed two Chinese at Lambing Flat in 1860." Yesterday's violence had been brewing for months. It came to a head last weekend when some Lebanese Australian men attacked members of the North Cronulla Surf Life Saving Club after they asked the visitors to stop playing soccer because it was disturbing other beach users. "Steely" - who did not want to identify himself "for fear the Lebs will come and shoot up my joint during the week" - said his children had been scared by Lebanese Australians coming in from the western suburbs. "I've got a four-year-old girl and a boy who's 11, and they see these bastards come here and stand around the sea baths 'cos their women have got to swim in clothes and stuff, or they see them saying filthy things to our girls," he said. "That's not Australian. My granddad fought the Japs to see Australia safe from this sort of shit, and that's what I'm doing today." The word went out last week that the Shire boys would not take it lying down any more. Yesterday was shaping as a giant clash if Lebanese Australians came to run the gauntlet."

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