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opinion

Sydney Race Riots

I was going to write about this sooner but following the completition – for the most part anyway – of the site’s design I decided to go for a full format and in the process have been busy, as well as loosing internet for the better part of the day. Anyway.

There’s plenty of news reports around – CNN, BBC, Forbes (problems grow to Adelaide & Perth), The Age (mostly AP reports); hell, Google News has 1000+ stories on it – so it’s pretty much reached international incident status [aside: this is what it takes for Australia to get on the news? sheesh]. Each report has its own spin, as the media is wont to have, inevitably, but these are the facts that i’ve gathered so far:

  1. 2 Lifegaurds get bashed by a gang of “youths with Arab or Middle Eastern appearance” (all of which have now been arrested by the way).
  2. A week of simmering tensions ensue, with much anger at the supposed “attack on the Australian way of life”, since lifegaurds are an integral part of the Aussie beach culture.
  3. Sunday: Rally of “white” Australians in Cronulla – a prominent beach suburb with a overwhelming majority of Australian residents, generally above average economic profile. Majority of ‘rally’ participants are from other parts of Sydney as Cronulla is easily accessible by train, young, and fuelled by alcohol. Rally quickly turns ugly as people with non-“white” skin are attacked simply for being in the area. Police step in and riot ensues. Ambulance attacked while treating on the victims of the mob.
  4. Sunday night, Monday night – gangs of “Arab youths” go to suburbs of Cronulla and Maroubra – a similar suburb, but further north and closer to the city. Cars smashed and various other incidents of violent vandalism. A number of arrests made.