Portal:Australia/2005 Sydney race riots
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Here is how Wikipedia summaries the events of Sunday December 11 to Thursday December 15:
- The 2005 Sydney race riots began with an incident of mob confrontation which took place at Cronulla Beach, a southern coastal suburb of Sydney, Australia's largest city. On Sunday 2005 December 11, approximately 5000 people had gathered in an ad-hoc protest to "reclaim the beach" from recently-reported incidents of antisocial and intimidatory behaviour by groups of non-locals, most of whom were identified in the earlier media reports as Lebanese Muslim youths from the western suburbs of Sydney. The crowd had assembled following a widely-reported series of earlier confrontations, and an assault on three volunteer lifesavers which had taken place the previous weekend. In the week leading up to the major incident of the 11th, these confrontations and the subsequent circulation of anonymous calls (spread via SMS text messaging and other means) to gather at the beach were the subject of much publicity and media commentary.
- After initially assembling without incident, violence broke out after a large segment of the mostly white crowd chased a man of middle eastern appearance into a hotel. The ensuing mêlée soon became widespread, in the course of which a number of police, ambulance officers and individual members of the public perceived to be of Middle Eastern appearance were assaulted.
- The following nights saw incidents of retaliatory violence and vandalism in Cronulla and other suburbs throughout the southern Sydney Metropolitan Area, mainly by people of Middle Eastern ethnicity, and an unprecedented police lock-down of the beaches in Sydney and surrounding areas, from Wollongong to Newcastle.
Wikinews coverage of the riot and aftermath
- Cronulla Beach in Sydney, New South Wales was the scene of racist mob-violence yesterday. In what has been described as disgusting, un-Australian and shameful behaviour, participants in a 5000-strong mob assaulted people suspected of being of Lebanese origin. The angry, alcohol-fuelled crowd also turned on anyone who tried to help the victims, including police, security guards and ambulance officers.
- 30 Kilometres from the scene of racial violence in Sydney last night, more than 20 shells have been recovered from a Catholic school and church in South Auburn after gunshots were heard. During a Christmas carols event at Saint Joseph the Worker Primary School patrons heard what they thought to be gunshots. Upon investigation two of the school's staff members discovered bullet holes in their cars.
- 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.
- The Uniting Church at Auburn in Sydney's inner west has been destroyed by fire overnight. According to a press release by New South Wales Police, police and fire brigade personnel arrived at the church at approximately 1:35 a.m. local time to discover the church well alight. Around 30 firefighters fought the blaze for two hours before bringing it under control.
- Following the distribution of text messages which resulted in violence in Sydney, similar messages are appearing around Australia.
- New South Wales Police Commissioner Ken Moroney has warned people to stay away from Cronulla, the Eastern suburbs beaches, Central Coast beaches, Wollongong and Newcastle this weekend, as more violence is expected. Police will be using new powers to set up roadblocks, implement alcohol bans, and search vehicles. There will be 1,500 extra police patrolling on Saturday, and 2,000 on Sunday.
- A number of rallies were held in Sydney on Sunday to protest against what they describe as racism in the community. The National Union of Students organised an event at Town Hall, and the Ted Noffs Foundation held an event in Belmore Park later in the day. About 2,000 people marched through Sydney, and there were also gatherings in Newcastle, Brisbane, and Melbourne.
- Following the racial violence which occurred in Sydney last week Britain, Canada and Indonesia have issued travel warnings for their nationals in or wishing to travel to Sydney. The British warning cites recent "sporadic outbreaks of racially motivated violence in Cronulla, Maroubra, Brighton-le-Sands" and "areas of south-west Sydney". British nationals are advised to "monitor the situation and exercise caution".
- Strike Force Enoggera, the group of detectives poised with investigating the recent racially motivated violence across Sydney, has laid its first charges against a man alleged to have forwarded SMS messages encouraging further violence.
- Two Australian men have been charged with entering a building with the intent of committing an indictable offence and malicious damage by fire, as a result of the 2005 Sydney race riots. Police have alleged that one of the men, a 17 year old from Hurstville, climbed a telegraph pole in Brighton-le-Sands and took the flag from the RSL club. With the assistance of the second man, a 24 year old from Penshurst, he set the flag alight.
March 8, 2006
- New South Wales police have released photographs of up to 20 men who are of interest in connection with the race riots in the Sydney suburb of Cronulla in December, 2005.
- Three men have been arrested and a further six "positively identified" following the public release of photographs showing "persons of interest" to police in relation to the Sydney riots last year.