Sunday, October 01, 2006

More Cronulla riots this December?

Australia: Via the Observer.

Australia's biggest city is bracing itself for more racial violence on its beaches this Christmas. Sydney witnessed a wave of unrest at the seaside suburb of Cronulla last December when 5,000 people - most of them young white men - gathered at the beach to protest at alleged intimidation by Lebanese gangs. The demonstration quickly degenerated into drunken violence, and anyone of Mediterranean or Arabic appearance was forced to hide in hotels or restaurants. The following day groups of men from Middle Eastern backgrounds launched revenge attacks. Cars and shops were damaged by rioters wielding baseball bats and iron bars. Peace was only restored after a military-style lockdown of troubled areas. Dozens of arrests were made. A conference of academics at Macquarie University in Sydney this weekend heard there was a real danger the scenes could be repeated. Dr Judy Lattas warned that the old wounds have not healed: 'There's a real problem of sexual harassment of Anglo-Saxon women on the beach by gangs of men of Middle Eastern appearance. 'It is very aggressive and threatening. These gangs turn on them, calling them "Aussie sluts and ugly dogs".'

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