SYDNEY (Reuters) - Racial tensions erupted into violence on a Sydney beach on Sunday when some 5,000 people, some yelling racist chants, converged to defend their beach from what they believe are youth gangs of Middle East background.
Local surfers and beachgoers rallied at Cronulla Beach after two young surf lifesavers were attacked last Sunday by a group of young men from Sydney's western suburbs.
Well, we didn't see this coming, did we?
I never knew the extent of unrest up there (or even that there was any, in truth) when I was googling around for a bit of info on a mob calling themselves the Noble Park Bosnians. Noble Park is a suburb about 10 minutes up the road with a large population of diverse religious and racial elements. (Is that diplomatic enough? I'd hate to go to jail under our enlightened and tolerant legislation.)
Apparently, back in Cronulla, it's been going on for quite a while, but as usual, it's all been kept quiet and local in the press, so not much appears to have been done by the Powers That Be.
What I find more appalling than this sort of 'unrest' breaking out at all, is that it was allowed to get to this stage.
Where have the police been?
What have the community leaders been up to (other than hiding their heads up their arses) when we hear of this happening:
Another Cronulla local told how little girls taking part in swimming lessons at the beach were warned to keep their sun protection shirts on as they left the water after thugs called them "little tarts".
Others described the abuse of a pregnant woman because she was taking up room on a stair way to the beach as one of the most shocking recent incidents at the beach.
The father of a 16-year-old girl said she had been too afraid to return to the beach after she and two friends were asked if they were virgins by a group of men.
When she failed to respond the gang told her she would be carried off the beach and it was only when she spotted a friend nearby that the two girls were able to escape.
Locals said the behaviour of aggressive groups of youths of Middle Eastern descent had become progressively worse in recent years.
"I am not racist against their ethnicity, I am reacting to their behaviour," one surf life saving source said.
Again, no surprises.
Just bleating from the usual suspects while our beaches become war zones.