Sunday, December 11, 2005

Racial tensions in Australia between Lebanese and locals.

Australia: Well if you are just now hearing about this, it takes a bit to put events together since the Aussie papers are hellbent on leaving out the racial part of the story. It started because of attacks on lifeguards by four Middle East youths.

"....Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph has learned police are not treating Sunday's bashing as completely unprovoked. Police will allege that as the three lifesavers were walking from the beach to the boardwalk about 3pm four Middle Eastern youths began yelling at them in Arabic. The lifesavers said to the the youths: "What are you looking at?" The Middle Eastern youths allegedly told the lifesavers to get off the beach and that they "owned" the beach. The lifesavers allegedly responded by telling the youths that if they went in the surf, they would need rescuing because they could not swim. Strong coarse language was allegedly used by both groups. The taunt about swimming turned the aggression physical, with the four youths bashing the lifesavers and another eight to 10 Middle Eastern males joining them, police will allege. One surf lifesaver, aged 19, sustained a cut near his eye and the other two, aged 15 and 20, suffered facial bruising. A lifeguards on patrol at the time of the attack told The Daily Telegraph yesterday a colleague had just finished patrol and was leaving the beach when he was allegedly confronted and abused by one of the men. "There was some pushing and shoving and then another bloke ran up from behind and king hit him and then he was on the ground. That's when I ran up to help," he said. "They punched me and kept fighting."
Later in the week, another brawl started and a media person got hit.
"Police have charged a 20-year-old Riverwood resident with malicious damage after a press photographer alleged he had his equipment damaged in an incident yesterday. The charge comes after a brawl erupted at North Cronulla beach when a gang of youths allegedly turned on a media crew. A police spokesman said one person was slightly injured when trouble broke out following an altercation between two people at about 4.30pm (AEDT). Up to 10 people then turned on a media crew, the spokesman said. The latest violence follows an assault on two lifeguards at the same beach at the weekend. Earlier, an 18-year-old Bankstown man was arrested at Petersham, in Sydney's inner-west, and charged with one count of affray and one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company over the weekend incident. Two lifeguards were taken to Sutherland Hospital with lacerations and bruises. Surf lifesavers allege the attack was carried out by a gang of youths who regularly visit Cronulla and harass locals and beachgoers.
Which leads us to Sunday where local gangs had enough and wanted to start a turf war.
"Three people have been arrested and three others assaulted in renewed violence at Sydney's Cronulla beach, NSW Police say. Scuffles have been breaking out since about midday (AEDT) when about 5000 people, some yelling racist chants, converged on the beach where racial tension and disputes between beach users flared last week. ....It was not clear if any of the arrests related to earlier witness reports of at least three men being pursued and attacked as they tried to get away from angry members of the crowd chasing them on foot. At least two of the men took refuge at Northies Pub, where police gathered to protect them, Macquarie Radio reported. Broken beer bottles scattered Elouera Road, which runs along the foreshore, with many in the crowd drinking heavily. Police have had to close the road to traffic at times. Mounted police and other units are maintaining a heavy presence at the beach today after two rival groups used text messages to urge attacks on each other. Some of the text messages encouraged people to carry out vigilante style attacks, and some message had racial undertones. One of the messages had urged "Aussies" to take revenge against "Lebs and wogs". Another urged locals to rally at point on the beach today to take retaliation against "middle eastern" gangs. As the crowd moved along the beach and foreshore area today, one man on the back of a ute began to shout "No more Lebs" - a chant picked up by the group around him. Others in the crowd, carrying Australian flags and dressed in Australian shirts, yelled "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie ... Oi, Oi, Oi".
Come to find out that this problem between Aussies and Middle Eastern gangs/locals have been brewing for a while with intimidation by the M.E. gangs on the locals.
"NICOLLE Dunk has been swimming at Cronulla since she was a toddler, but now the 17-year-old refuses to go to her favourite beach alone. She has been harassed and assaulted by thugs who come to The Shire to threaten and intimidate. "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," she told The Daily Telegraph yesterday. As police played down a culture of gang violence at one of Sydney's best known beaches in the wake of the bashing of three North Cronulla lifesavers last Sunday, locals told a different story. Ms Dunk, along with friends Leiden Kronemberger and Dean Apostolidis, both 16, said yesterday the gangs had disappeared after the bashing but would return when publicity died down. "They come from Hurtsville and places like that and they always come in numbers. They don't mind having a go if they can hide behind their friends," Dean said. Another Cronulla local told how little girls taking part in swimming lessons at the beach were warned to keep their sun protection shirts on as they left the water after thugs called them "little tarts". Others described the abuse of a pregnant woman because she was taking up room on a stair way to the beach as one of the most shocking recent incidents at the beach. 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. Locals said the behaviour of aggressive groups had become progressively worse in recent years. "I am not racist against their ethnicity, I am reacting to their behaviour," one surf life saving source said. "There are a lot of people who go to the beach just to have fun and do the right thing." It can also be confirmed that Sunday's brutal attack was not the first, with a council lifeguard chased by a machete-wielding man two years ago. "
The local Islamic groups blame talk radio for the fights.
Sydney's Islamic community has blamed the violence at Cronulla Beach on what it calls racist and irresponsible sections of the media. Three people have been arrested and three others assaulted in renewed violence as about 5,000 people converged on the south Sydney beach, some yelling racist chants directed towards the Lebanese community. The beach was the scene of two violent incidents last week - an attack on two young lifeguards, reportedly by middle-eastern youths, on Sunday and a brawl later in the week in which youths turned on a media crew. Authorities have been calling for calm since last week's attacks, which sparked calls for vigilante style retaliation on "middle eastern" gangs. One widely circulated text message urged locals to rally on the beach in a show of force against the so-called gangs. Islamic Friendship Association of Australia president Keysar Trad said the violence was "bound to happen" because of racist rhetoric on Sydney talk back radio throughout the week. "Sections of the media took this issue far too far and one can only surmise that the way this issues was dealt with on talk back radio amounts to incitement," Mr Trad said. He said the media turned a common youth issue into an issue of ethnicity. "One wonders how much further this can go before those people on talk back radio become more responsible," he said. He said the racist chants show people are not acting rationally, but are "filled with hatred".
To sum it up, we got AUSSIE RIOTS~! in the making. Most likely we have the boiling over of long simmering tensions with a Middle Eastern gang acting like thugs and the locals getting tired of it has made the situation get really ugly.

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