2005 Cronulla riots

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Police observing crowds prior to confrontations
Police observing crowds prior to confrontations

The 2005 Cronulla riots were a series of ethnically motivated mob confrontations which originated in and around Cronulla, a beachfront suburb of Sydney, Australia's largest city. Soon after the riot, ethnically motivated violent incidents occurred in several other Sydney suburbs.

On Sunday, December 11, 2005, approximately 5000 people had gathered in a protest to "reclaim the beach" from recently reported incidents of assaults and intimidatory behaviour by groups of non-locals, most of whom were identified in earlier media reports as Middle Eastern youths from the suburbs of Western Sydney. The crowd had assembled following a series of earlier confrontations, and an assault on three off-duty lifesavers which had taken place the previous weekend.[1] The crowd initially assembled without incident, but violence broke out after a large segment of the mostly white crowd chased a man of Middle Eastern appearance into a hotel. Prime Minister, John Howard, denied that the riots were an example of tribalism, citing a combination of a large number of people and a large amount of alcohol as the pre-eminent reason for the unprecedented violence.[2]

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The following nights saw incidents of retaliatory violence and vandalism by people of Middle Eastern descent in Cronulla and surrounding suburbs, large gatherings of protesters around western Sydney, and an unprecedented police lock-down of Sydney beaches and surrounding areas, from Wollongong to Newcastle.

Contents

[edit] 11 December — the riot

Crowds gathered at North Cronulla amid Australian flags and anti-Lebanese fanfare
Crowds gathered at North Cronulla amid Australian flags and anti-Lebanese fanfare

On Sunday 11 December 2005, an estimated crowd of some 5000 people had gathered at Cronulla beach.[3] In the week leading up to the incident of the 11th, this confrontation and the subsequent circulation of anonymous calls to gather at the beach — spread via SMS text messaging ("Come to Cronulla this weekend to take revenge. This Sunday every Aussie in the Shire get down to North Cronulla to support Leb and wog bashing day.")[4] and other means — were the subject of much publicity and media commentary.

Most of those in attendance appeared to be of white Anglo-Celtic Australian backgrounds. The assembly occurred after elements in the local community had called for a public showing in response to the previous weekend's confrontation between a group of Middle Eastern background and some local Cronulla beach surf lifesavers, and the subsequent assault on three lifesavers by several of that group that led to the lifesavers being hospitalised in critical condition.[5] Police had earlier stated that they believed this previous assault had not been racially motivated.

A number of the rioters wore clothing bearing racially-divisive slogans such as "We Grew Here, You Flew Here", "Wog Free Zone", "Aussie Pride", "Save 'Nulla" and "Ethnic Cleansing Unit". Chants of "Lebs out", "Fuck off Lebs", "Go Nulla, fuck Allah", "Lebs go home" and other discriminatory expressions were continuously shouted out by the mob.

Representatives from three far-right organisations were also identified handing out pamphlets, namely the Australia First Party, the Newcastle-based Blood and Honour and the Patriotic Youth League (PYL). The PYL describes itself as a "radical nationalist" group with links to the US-based racist skinhead group Volksfront, British National Party and the New Zealand National Front. The PYL had previously been linked by The Sydney Morning Herald to racially motivated attacks at the University of Newcastle.[6] None of the groups have claimed a role in organising the event.

NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione afterwards said police believed representatives of neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups had been among the crowd. "That in fact is something that we're following up," he later told the Nine Network. The network later reported that "one woman was pictured among the angry crowd holding a poster…which advertised a group known as the Patriotic Youth League."[7]

Woman holding Patriotic Youth League material
Woman holding Patriotic Youth League material

According to ABC News, after several hours had passed without direct confrontation, the initially festive atmosphere rapidly turned to violence:

Earlier in the day the atmosphere had been party-like despite the large crowd, which some estimates say numbers 5,000 people. That changed when a man of Middle Eastern appearance was chased into a hotel bistro. Within a minute the hotel was surrounded by several thousand people screaming and chanting. About a half an hour later a fight broke out across the road and police led away a man with a shirt over his head as the crowd lobbed beer cans at him".[8]

Through the remainder of the day, several more individuals of "Middle Eastern appearance" were assaulted, as well as several others who were not from an Arab, Lebanese or Islamic Middle Eastern background, including a Jewish boy and a Greek girl. Police and ambulance workers leading away the victims from the riots were also assaulted by groups of people throwing beer bottles.[1] Several dozen people were treated for minor cuts and bruises, while six individuals were evacuated under police escort to be assessed by doctors. One was further evacuated to St. George Hospital, in a serious but stable condition.[9][8] Some were protected from further injury by the assistance of people within the crowd.

Crowds with police and ambulance in background
Crowds with police and ambulance in background

As they moved to protect several individuals targeted by the crowds, many of the police present employed riot equipment including capsicum spray in order to subdue several of the attackers. A call for reinforcements was placed to the police station in Miranda, a nearby suburb on the peninsula. Local police at Cronulla had earlier commented that they were sufficiently prepared to deal with any anticipated violence at Cronulla beach, but seemed to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of people who had arrived.

Elouera Road was temporarily closed to traffic. A total of 25 people were later reported injured in the incidents, including two ambulance officers.[3] Later that evening, The Sydney Morning Herald quoted a New South Wales Police spokesman as saying that seven people had been arrested, and that charges had been filed against four individuals.[3] By the following morning of the 12th, the News Limited website reported twelve arrests total. Charges to be laid included assaulting police, throwing a missile, offensive behaviour, hindering police and resisting arrest.[citation needed]

[edit] Reaction and retaliation

[edit] 11 December — evening

Following the confrontations at the beach earlier in the day, there were reports that a number of Arab youths travelling in groups were converging on various locations in the region, in a series of apparent "hit and run" retaliatory actions. As several convoys of men of Middle Eastern appearance approached the beachside suburbs at around 10:45 p.m., the New South Wales police operations commander on duty issued instructions that their cars were not to be approached, but that registration and location details be recorded.[10] NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Bob Waites confirmed the reason for this instruction was "They weren't committing any offences at the time [they were in convoy] and it was about making sure they recorded [the details] so they have all the information." Several of the individuals concerned were held in custody that night in relation to some later events of that evening, with some ensuing charges being filed a little over a month afterwards. Superintendent Ken McKay, head of Strike Force Enoggera later set up to deal with the incidents, commented: "We are investigating a large number of crimes that occurred on this night and I'm quite confident, having around 200 car numbers … A lot has been made of issues that aren't issues." Promising that there would be further arrests as investigations were completed, he also noted that he was sick of the politicising of the investigations into the revenge attacks.

Through the remainder of the evening, cars and windows in Maroubra, Arncliffe and Rockdale were vandalised.[11] Several instances of property damage at the Rockdale railway station were reported. A 23-year-old man was stabbed outside a golf club in Woolooware after being approached by a group of men of Middle Eastern appearance.

By 1:00 a.m., reports of violence had also spread to Brighton-Le-Sands, where police wearing riot gear sectioned off Bay Street in a confrontation with a crowd of people of Middle Eastern appearance.[12] The violence then spread to Ashfield in Sydney's Inner West, as well as suburbs in Greater Western Sydney, with outbreaks in Bankstown and Punchbowl.[13]

Police said 16 people had been arrested and charged with 41 offences. Those charged were from Mortdale, Cronulla, Bondi Junction, Kareela, Granville, Lugarno, Greenacre, Mascot, Northmead, Jannali, Sutherland and Riverwood. Offences included malicious damage, resisting police, hindering police, assaulting police, resisting arrest, possessing prohibited drugs, behaving in an offensive manner, threatening violence, affray, possession of a knife in a public place and driving in a dangerous manner. All of those charged were men between 17 and 40 years of age.

Several of the local residents who were quoted in media reports indicated a state of shock and a reluctance to be identified, out of fear of retribution from Middle Eastern gangs.

[edit] 12 December

On Monday 12 December 2005, political, community and religious leaders condemned the violence. Some politicians and other leaders have alluded to underlying racism within Australian society, whilst others have condemned the violence as "thuggish", criminal and alcohol-fuelled behaviour. Ken Moroney, Police Commissioner of New South Wales, told The Sydney Morning Herald that he was ashamed at the "mob mentality" of the rally. He further elaborated: "The other equally offensive conduct today, the absolutely total un-Australian conduct today, was an attack on an ambulance. That has brought a higher level of shame to those involved in that level of attack and they deserve to be condemned in the highest possible terms."[5]

Keysar Trad, president of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, stated that the violence was "bound to happen" because of racist rhetoric on Sydney talk radio throughout the week.[3]

Prime Minister Howard condemned the riots, describing the violence as "sickening", adding however that he did not believe racism to be widespread in Australia. Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley also condemned the violence.

On 12 December a police strike force was established to track down those responsible for the riots using video and photo evidence. The New South Wales State Parliament was recalled by the Premier on Thursday, 15 December, to increase police powers in regard to the riots. The new powers may include the closing of alcohol outlets and the confiscation of motor vehicles.[14]

On Monday 12 December, there were initially reports of new text messages circulating, leading to concern over fresh violence at Cronulla. Various news later reported around eight hundred people gathering outside Sydney's Lakemba mosque on Monday night.[15] Residents claimed they were there to defend the Mosque against attacks from Southern gangs, as had been threatened by the white demonstrators. The crowd had started to disperse at 9:30 p.m.[16] but the Seven Network reported that some then packed into dozens of cars, travelling in convoys towards Sydney's southern district, while sporadically assaulting people and vandalising cars and property in Bexley and various other suburbs on their way. The same network also reported that a leaked police incident report believed to relate to Punchbowl Park, the staging point of the conveys, stated that officers received directions "not to enter the area and antagonise these persons".[17]

An audio file recorded from the Sydney Police's radio[18] reported further violence on the night of 12 December, with residents of Cronulla reporting that cars full of Middle Eastern men had driven into the area. The local shopping centre appeared to be a target for mobs, with several vehicles vandalised. The men "went on a rampage" while nearby residents prepared to defend their homes and families.[citation needed]

According to a report which appeared in the January 22 edition of The Sydney Morning Herald,[19] one of the Cronulla residents was saved by the actions of a 24-year-old junior rugby league coach Ahmed Jajieh. The son of Lebanese immigrants, Jajieh had been among the people assembled outside the Lakemba mosque in order to protect it from the expected attack. After the threats were not realised, he reported trying to dissuade a group from moving on to Cronulla to execute reprisal attacks, in which he was unsuccessful. He later set off for Cronulla himself, "...to make sure nothing happened", where he came across a local man under assault by a group of up to thirty young men. In security camera footage later released by police to the media, he is seen confronting and warding off the assault. The victim sustained minor injuries including a hairline fracture of the arm.

An identikit photo released by NSW Police of three men wanted for the stabbing of a 26 year old man on the day of the riots
An identikit photo released by NSW Police of three men wanted for the stabbing of a 26 year old man on the day of the riots

The Sydney Morning Herald reported a retaliatory attack in which a 26-year-old man and two females were approached by two carloads of young men of Middle Eastern appearance who threatened the females with sexual assault at a golf club at the nearby Sydney suburb of Woolooware. The man was stabbed five times after four men leapt from a car outside Woolooware Golf Club. The man stated to The Herald, "I was knocked to the ground - there was one on either side of my head kicking my head. It wasn't until I stood up and felt blood running down my back that I knew something was wrong. I felt up my back and I knew something was in there - I asked my friend if it was a knife or glass and he said it was a knife." Police said the 9.8 centimetre blade had snapped off after the man had been stabbed three times in the back and twice in the thigh.[20]

The Sydney Morning Herald stated that on 29 June 2006, Yahya Jamal Serhan, appeared in Bankstown Local Court charged with affray and maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm upon a man known only as "Dan", who was walking from Woolooware Golf Club with a mate and two women. In court, New South Wales Police said Dan stopped to protect the women when the men ran shouting: "Get the Aussie dogs … get the Aussie sluts". Sergeant Eurell in court said: "This was a joint criminal enterprise by members of a group of males who engaged in an unprovoked, racially motivated, premeditated attack".[21]

An AAP report carried in The Herald stated that a 17-year-old youth of Middle Eastern appearance was arrested on 12 July 2006 over the retaliatory attack in which a man was, "pushed to the ground, kicked and punched, and stabbed three times in the back and twice in the left thigh - one knife wound was just two millimetres from his lung - the attack ended when the 9.8 centimetre blade snapped in the [victim]'s back".[22]

Another Herald report stated that a woman and her husband were driving along Canterbury Road on the night of Monday, December 12, when they encountered carloads of men with Lebanese flags hanging out the windows and heard one man screaming, "Do it for Allah!"[23]

At the same time, further carloads of young Middle Eastern men made their way to Maroubra, organised again by the circulation of SMS text messages. Armed with baseball bats, crowbars and bricks, they vandalised private property (including over 100 cars) throughout streets of Maroubra. Many residents took refuge in their homes, while others who tried to confront the gangs were attacked. A 23-year-old man was injured during the unrest, as he was bashed by baseball-bat wielding youths, who attacked his car.[citation needed]

The SMH stated that an Australian man, Jake Schofield, was attacked by four Middle Eastern men on 11th Dec. 'All four men jumped from the car, stabbing J two times, striking J with a lump of concrete, and stomping on his head and body several times before stealing his phone and keys - J suffered serious injuries, including a fractured eye socket and nose, and two stab wounds. Two Middle Eastern youths were charged with armed robbery in company with wounding, malicious wounding with intent, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray. The two men to be charged, Wael Tahan and Mahmoud Eid, both 19, were allegedly among a group of men who jumped out of a car to attack a man with concrete blocks and stomp on his head - the men were on bail at the time of the alleged attack of Mr Schofield, accused of separate assaults.[1], [2]

The Age reported that a Middle Eastern youth, fuelled by racial hatred of Australians, assaulted a man with a pole during a revenge attack. Magistrate Paul Falzon said the Middle Eastern youth had screamed "fucking Aussie" as he used a pole to attack the driver of a car in Carlton on the 12th Dec. The driver suffered cuts to his arm before driving off. The Middle Eastern youth was travelling with two co-accused when they stopped their car next to another and asked the driver about his nationality. Magistrate Falzon in court stated, "The facts in this case, if founded, fit squarely in the racial vilification category by the query "what nationality are you?" In my opinion it appears to be violence fuelled by racists' ideation". [3]

The Herald reported that Jeffrey Ismail appeared in Bankstown Local Court accused of sending text messages that incited racial attacks on white Australians in reprisal for racial attacks on the beachfront against people of Middle Eastern extraction earlier. "Ismail, 28, of Greenacre, is alleged to have rallied a large group of [Middle Eastern] men to meet at Punchbowl on the night of December 12.[24]

At Maroubra, police said they found a stockpile of 30 Molotov cocktails and crates of rocks stockpiled on rooftops, as hundreds of local surfers gathered. Weapons such as iron bars, baseball bats, knives and even firearms are being found and confiscated.[citation needed]

Morris Iemma, Premier of New South Wales, announced on Tuesday December 13 that police will be given "lockdown" powers which would allow them to prohibit entry into specified areas. Referring to vigilantes, Mr Iemma said, "These criminals have declared war on our society and we are not going to let them win... You will not take control of our streets". Police said this kind of unrest was unprecedented in Australia.[25] The Australian media reported that mobile telephone text messages were calling for revenge attacks to continue. The messages were being circulated among both Australians of white and Middle Eastern backgrounds.

[edit] 14 December

On the morning of 14 December 2005, local media reported that SMS text messages inciting further riots were being sent to mobile users in other states including Victoria and Queensland.

At the tail end of a Christmas carols service at St Joseph the Worker Primary School in Auburn, drive-by shots were fired into cars and parents and primary school students were verbally abused by men described as Middle Eastern. Furthermore, a total of four Churches in Sydney's South-West were attacked during the evening.[26] The Uniting Church hall in Auburn, which is next to an Islamic centre, was set ablaze about 1.30 a.m. (AEDT) on 15 December. Premier Iemma stated that "it may be" linked to the ongoing riots.[27]

[edit] Responses

[edit] NSW Opposition

The Sydney Morning Herald stated that New South Wales Opposition Leader Peter Debnam promised to round up if elected next March the "200 Middle Eastern thugs" still on the streets of Sydney. "At dawn ... on the 25th of March, my instruction to the police commissioner will be to take as many police as you need and charge them with anything to get them off the streets." "Four million people in the metropolitan area have been terrorised by these [Middle Eastern] thugs for a decade".[28] "There's no shortage of police who want to lock the bastards up." He said Middle Eastern "thugs" had terrorised people for years. Since December, "people have stopped me... reminding me of how those people terrorised... their community... over the last 10 years".[29]

[edit] Police

Police Commissioners and Authorities expected violence to again continue as signs of more retaliation and revenge were discovered, such as inflammatory SMS messages being sent, youths gathering in cars and on streets and hidden stockpiles of weapons being found.[30]

Amidst fears of a third night of violence, perhaps continuing for the entire week, 450 police officers were deployed in Sydney's suburbs, ready to respond to any violent youths or gangs. The New South Wales Deputy Commissioner of Police Andrew Scipione said that while they had no specific intelligence, police expected more unrest. He also said that if needed he would seek assistance from police in other states, for extra resources and manpower.[31]

Deputy Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said there had been a "welcome respite" last night from the violence of past days. But he said police would not be dropping their guard, with 450 officers on the streets of Sydney on the December 15 and 16, and numbers are likely to rise on the weekend as well. "I'd say this is the first time we've ever encountered this kind of phenomena anywhere in Australia," Mr Scipione said. "We'll look at it with a view of saying what is it that we can draw from the new powers that will allow us to be safe?" But he said police would have sufficient resources to cope with any more flare-ups at Sydney's eastern and southern beaches.[32]

[edit] Political and community leaders

Many political spokesmen and analysts, such as New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma, Professor Michael Cyline and leaders of Islamic communities such as Keysar Trad, expressed fears that further violence would occur, fuelled by ongoing racial or ethnic tensions.[33]

They perceived this state of conflict as a result of the years of brooding disagreements and hatred between the two main ethnic groups involved in these incidents: white Australians, on the one hand, and Middle Eastern Australians on the other. In the years after the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City, many had felt the sense of fear created by terrorism has only heightened public awareness of Arab communities in Sydney and their ongoing differences with non-Muslim Australians.[34]

Several Muslim women's groups made calls for a voluntary curfew on Middle Eastern youths, requesting parents to keep their children at home over the weekend after the mob violence. They also urged parents to confiscate mobile telephones and car keys, in an attempt to forestall further aggression and retaliatory attacks. Similar sentiments were expressed by the Assistant Police Commissioner, Mark Goodwin, who said "I urge community leaders to continue dialogue in an effort to defuse the aggression."

In a speech made on 15 December, New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma also described the intentions and action plans for increased police coverage to be put into effect. "Special attention will be paid to places of worship, our churches and our schools," he said. Premier Iemma warned that a 500-strong Anti-Riot Squad would be out in force over the summer to as a precaution to any further disturbances.[35]

The Premier also foreshadowed that a draft of a bill had been prepared, which was intended to provide special and augmented powers to police, to be used in the case of continuing violence. These proposed laws were to contain a sunset clause of two years, he said. Mr Iemma also welcomed the "swift justice" and the four-month jail term which had already been handed down in the case of one man who had been arrested and convicted of a charge arising from the recent violence.[citation needed]

Surfer Nathan Rogers, from Maroubra's notorious "Bra Boys" gang, said: "The beaches are not anyone's turf, they should be open to everyone, no matter of ethnic background." Similar "peace talks" between Muslim leaders and surfers were held at Cronulla on the evening of Wednesday December 14.[36]

Brian Wilshire, host of an evening talkback radio program on Radio 2GB, sparked further controversy for labelling people of Lebanese descent "inbred".

"Many of them have parents who are first cousins whose parents were first cousins. The result of this is inbreeding – the result of which is uneducationable (sic) people...and very low IQ.

Following widespread condemnation, including by Premier Iemma, Wilshire has since apologised for his comments.[37]

[edit] Melbourne anti-racism rally

At 5:00 p.m. on Friday 16 December at Melbourne's Bourke Street Mall there was an anti-racism rally to protest against the riots, though organisers also used it as an opportunity to protest other politically-related issues such as the War on Terror and mandatory detention.

[edit] Response from rioters

Speaking on the ABC's Four Corners, several youths engaged in the race riots spoke openly about their motivations behind the attacks.[1] While one Australian youth expressed his regret for the "people that got taken out that day", another explained that he wanted "this government to stop the growing threat. And I want them to stop appeasing Islam. And to stop appeasing people that follow Islam." Another added, "They will probably, like, possibly out-breed us. And once they get the numbers, they can vote their members into parliament. And once their members are in parliament, they can pass laws, like, they've already tried to get the Islamic law into Australia a few times." When asked by host Liz Jackson whether Australia could become an Islamic state, they replied, "Yeah, definitely."

Responses from the Lebanese side were mixed, with one youth stating "I'm against innocent people getting hit" whereas another interviewee, Ali, when questioned about his role in the riots, replied "No, I don't feel bad."

[edit] SMS messages and emails

Authorities and police have taken the new rounds of circulating SMS messages throughout Middle-Eastern, as well as Australian, communities and youths very seriously, as signs of further violence. Police said they had been investigating text messages inciting racial violence in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

Of special note is that in the case of the Cronulla riots, these messages were broadcast nationally, in prime time, uncensored, showing the location and date of the proposed riot days in advance, by the Nine Network's A Current Affair.[citation needed] Alan Jones, the host of a popular morning talkback radio show on Sydney station 2GB used his breakfast radio programme to read out and discuss a widely circulated text message calling on people to "Come to Cronulla this weekend to take revenge... get down to North Cronulla to support the Leb and wog bashing day".[38]

SMS messages were widely circulated in response to these attacks, calling for "anti-racism" protests in Melbourne and other cities on Friday December 16 and Sunday December 18. Further messages from both groups (Middle Eastern and white Australians) of the violence in Sydney called for large-scale protests the following Sunday, police said, much the same way text messages had originally been used to incite mob violence in Cronulla.[39]

[edit] Board game

Cronulla 2230 board game
Cronulla 2230 board game

The disturbance prompted the anonymous production of a Monopoly-style board game. The board game was produced as an electronic file and made available from free web hosts.[40] Organisations including Fight Dem Back have been active in having the board game removed from sites where it has been found, through complaints regarding breach of the hosts terms of service.[41]

[edit] Economic impacts

Many of the small businesses in the affected areas (particularly in the beachside suburbs) reported a significant downturn in trade since the main incident of 11 December, with losses of anticipated earnings down by up to 90% at what would ordinarily be a busy time of the year.[42] A significant downturn in the number of beach visitors over the weekend of 17-18 December was reported as far away as Terrigal on the Central Coast. The head of the Tourism and Transport Forum indicated on December 19 that there had already been layoffs of employees working in the tourism and hospitality industries in Cronulla, and the chief executive of the State Chamber of Commerce, Margy Osmond, was quoted as saying "If the violence continues there is the potential it could even force some businesses to close down and significantly damage our reputation as a tourist destination among both domestic and international visitors".[43]

On the 22 December the BBC reported that some beach-side businesses reported a slump in takings by up to 75% since the unrest, and that the New South Wales state government had announced an A$250,000 (US$183,000) campaign to bring tourists back to Sydney's beaches, including advertisements featuring well known sports stars, assuring tourists that it was safe to visit the area.[44] Authorities in Britain, Canada and Indonesia issued warnings to their citizens to be on guard for possible continuing racial violence.[45]

[edit] Violence and harassment by Middle Eastern youths

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the riot was not about the attack at the beach on two white life-savers by young Middle Eastern men on the Sunday, but a response to an attack on two white Australians walking at the beach on the preceding Wednesday. A local school teacher and witness to the attack stated to the Sydney Morning Herald, "... a group of Lebanese were hanging around the showers at the car park. There were about 25 to 30 of them. A local guy, about 40, was walking by and said something. One of them punched him in the head from behind. When the Anglo guy turned around and started to defend himself, they swarmed on him. He went into a foetal position and they were all kicking him. Another guy went to assist him and he was attacked ..." A second witness to the attack stated, "I saw them kick the crap out of this bloke on the ground. One big guy was waving around a numchucker, and they were screaming "We own this country".[8] -

The Sydney Morning Herald has since reported that the underlying Middle Eastern provacations are still very much prevalent 6 months after the 'revenge attacks'. At a 16th birthday party in Green Valley several carloads of uninvited Middle Eastern men arrived to 'crash the party. The SMH stated, "... the Lebanese got on their mobile phones and began to gather numbers. More cars assembled. Police later estimated the size of the war party at about 60 men and 15 cars assembled in Clump Place. A large number of the party-goers went outside to see what was going on." "... two 16-year-old guests were treated for stab wounds at Liverpool Hospital ... the injured had been stabbed in the back after being swarmed."[41] - - On Sunday 4 December 2005, a group of male youths of Middle Eastern descent were playing soccer on a Cronulla beach when the North Cronulla surf lifesavers are reported to have asked them to stop, as it was disturbing other users of the beach. The response from the youths was: "Get off our beach. This is our beach. We own it." Gerard Henderson, columnist at The Sydney Morning Herald, alleges that the surf lifesavers then provided the youths with "a degree of verbal provocation", and "reminded the south-western suburb inhabitants that they could not swim".[42] Shortly thereafter three surf lifesavers (aged 15, 19 and 20) were confronted by initially four, and then later up to twelve individuals, and in the process were allegedly assaulted. Not all of those present were directly involved in the melee, and several of the larger group were reported to have attempted to break up the altercation.[43] Police later claimed that there was no apparent racial motive behind that assault.[44] A Middle Eastern teenager, Ali Osman of Bankstown, was later charged with assault in company occasioning actual bodily harm.[45][46]

[edit] References

  1. ^ a b c Jackson, Liz. "Riot and Revenge", Four Corners, 2006-03-13. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  2. ^ Vincent, Michael, Iggulden, Tom. "Cronulla locals search for answers over race riots", PM, 2005-12-12. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  3. ^ a b c d "Mob violence envelops Cronulla", AAP, 2005-12-11. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  4. ^ Teo, Hsu-Ming. "These days it's harder to be different", The Sydney Morning Herald, 2006-12-07. Retrieved on 2006-12-07.
  5. ^ a b "Mob mentality shameful: Police Commissioner", ABC News, 2005-12-11. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  6. ^ Thompson, Matthew. "Neo-Nazi link to campus anti-foreigner campaign", The Sydney Morning Herald, 2004-08-31. Retrieved on 2006-07-27.
  7. ^ ninemsn staff and wires. "Man bashed as police hit Sydney streets", National Nine News, 2005-12-14. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  8. ^ a b "Cronulla mob attacks beachgoers", ABC News, 2005-12-11. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Clennell, Andrew. "Riot order: avoid Middle Eastern men", The Sydney Morning Herald, 2006-02-04. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  11. ^ "Violence moves to Maroubra: reports", ABC News, 2005-12-11. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  12. ^ "Violence spread to third Sydney suburb", ABC News, 2005-12-12. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  13. ^ "Sydney's racial tension spreads", AAP, 2005-12-11. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  14. ^ "Police get the power", AAP, 2005-12-15. Retrieved on 2007-01-24.
  15. ^ Skelton, Russell. "Message of peace not enough for hotheads", The Age, 2005-12-14. Retrieved on 2007-01-24.
  16. ^ "Major police presence at Lakemba Mosque", ABC News, 2005-12-12. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  17. ^ Baden, Samantha. "Police guard churches as tension rises", The Sydney Morning Herald, 2005-12-15. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  18. ^ Sydney Police's radio audio file
  19. ^ Devine, Miranda. "How one man defied a Cronulla mob", The Sydney Morning Herald, 2006-01-22. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  20. ^ Braithwaite, David. "'I felt knife snapped off in my back'", The Sydney Morning Herald, 2006-05-26. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  21. ^ Kennedy, Les. "Painstaking police work leads to arrest over Cronulla knife attack", The Sydney Morning Herald, 2006-06-30. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  22. ^ "Teen questioned over Cronulla reprisals", AAP, 2006-07-13. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  23. ^ Sheehan, Paul. "Community is paying for inaction", The Sydney Morning Herald, 2006-05-29. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  24. ^ Kennedy, Les. "Man in court over Cronulla revenge SMS", The Sydney Morning Herald, 2006-12-06. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  25. ^ "Emergency powers to stop riots", AAP, 2005-12-13. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  26. ^ "Now churches are targeted", The Australian, unknown. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  27. ^ Baden, Samantha. "Police guard churches as tension rises", The Sydney Morning Herald, 2005-12-15. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  28. ^ Clennell, Andrew. "Police tough on both sides of Cronulla riots", The Sydney Morning Herald, 2006-07-19. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  29. ^ Clennell, Andrew. "Police to Debnam - thug plan not arresting", The Sydney Morning Herald, 2006-07-20. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  30. ^ Davies, Anne, Cubby, Ben. "Flying bats rang alarm bells on the beach", The Sydney Morning Herald, 2005-12-21. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
  31. ^ Steffens, Miriam. "Howard says Sydney riots won't hurt Australia's image", Bloomberg.com, 2005-12-13. Retrieved on 2006-08-31.
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[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] News articles

(Ordered by publication dates)

[edit] Photographs and video footages

[edit] Miscellaneous