Sydney racial violence continues

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"No Lebs" handwritten on t-shirt. Much of the violence last night was in retaliation for riots in Cronulla on Sunday.

In a second night of racial violence in Sydney, residents have been bashed and property damaged throughout the eastern suburbs. Hundreds of men, some armed with guns and crowbars, damaged cars and businesses, and attacked people randomly. Five men have been arrested and charged.

Police called in riot equipment and extra officers saying car loads of people arrived in the area with many taking part in attacks on property. A witness said police with guns drawn arrested a number of people. There were reports of gunshots near North Cronulla beach, but police said there had been no shots fired.

Hundreds of men congregated around Lakemba Mosque at 4:30pm after rumours spread that it would be attacked. The men scuffled with police, and three officers received minor injuries.

There have been more reports of SMS messages promoting further violence against against the opposing parties circulating.

"Carloads of men" terrorise eastern suburbs

In an escalation of yesterday's conflict, up to 70 cars invaded Cronulla and Brighton-le-Sands on Monday night - following the vicious attacks by Cronulla locals on Sunday. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Twenty carloads of men arrived at Cronulla by about 10.30pm, smashing shops and cars and threatening people who got in their way.

A woman was reportedly stabbed in Carringbah. Four men attacked patrons of a Pizzeria, knocking a woman unconscious on the footpath and smashing windows. Around 100 Cronulla locals surrounded a car carrying men of Middle Eastern appearance. Police dispersed the mob and let the car escape.

At Brighton-Le-Sands, about 100 men in cars arrived in the area, throwing objects at cars and shops. Mobs ripped out garbage bins, police dogs and helicopters were called as furious locals began to gather, threatening to take back the streets from "wogs and Lebanese". Police yelled at local residents to stay inside.

A police media release listed these assaults occurring:

  • A 27-year-old Bexley woman and her 30-year-old husband were attacked at a restaurant at Caringbah both suffering facial and head injuries.
  • A 35-year-old Lansvale man suffered head injuries and severe facial bruising after being attacked at a Cronulla youth hostel.
  • A 45-year-old Cronulla man suffered fractured ribs and head injuries as he attempted to place garbage bins outside his Hume Street home.
  • A 49-year-old Woolooware man suffered a fractured forearm after being struck by a baseball bat at Cronulla.

Five men were arrested and charged. The men were from Guildford, Sandringham, Ashcroft, and Hurstville, and the charges included assault police, not comply with directions, driving in a manner dangerous, being in custody of a knife, assault, breach of bail, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, affray and malicious damage. The men charged were between 22 and 30 years of age.

Lakemba Mosque

Earlier, about 200 men had assembled outside a Mosque - some armed with pistols. The group said they had gathered to protect the Lakemba mosque because of a threatened attack on it by a gang from the southern beaches. Another group said they were preparing to travel to Maroubra Beach, where up to 300 locals, many armed with crowbars, waited for an arranged fight.

Police confiscated iron bars and other weapons and blocked roads around the mosque. About 20 police cars surrounded the mosque, where four men showed their pistols and ammunition to a news crew, and boasted that others were carrying arms. Police were pelted with rocks as the crowd dispersed, but no one was injured.

Fears of a third night of violence

Amidst fears of a third night of violence in Sydney some 450 police officers have been deployed in the city to respond to any disturbances. The New South Wales Deputy Commissioner of Police Andrew Scipione says that while they have no specific intelligence, Police expect more unrest tonight. He has also said that if needed he will seek assistance from police in other states.

Police to gain new powers

The New South Wales Parliament will be recalled from their Christmas-New Year holiday on Thursday 15 December, 2005 to pass legislation giving police the power to shut bottle shops and hotels, lock down areas and impound and search vehicles.

At present police in New South Wales can ask bottle shop and hotel owners close their doors but can not force them to do so.

Organising via SMS and Usenet

Wikinews Australia has in-depth coverage of this issue: 2005 Sydney race riots

Police are also investigating SMS messages calling on young Arabs to start another round of attacks at Cronulla Beach next Sunday. Another congratulated Australians for the fight against the Lebanese, but called for more attacks. "We'll show them! It's on again Sunday," the message said.

A Usenet posting signed by an unknown entity "Action for Australia" is calling on Australians to become "True Blue Patriots" and rally on Australia Day in 2006. "We will assert our democratic right to march through the streets of Lakemba," the posting said.

Claiming that the Sydney suburbs of Bankstown and Lakemba are the true source of the "Lebanese and muslim trouble", they are wishing to arrange a march through Lakemba to demonstrate that "Australians wish to reclaim the streets".

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