Tuesday, December 13
I hope that The Daily Telegraph doesn't mind me extensively quoting from this article, because they are doing some of the best reporting on the events.
Police ordered scores of trouble makers to the ground at gunpoint in a bid to regain control following a day of rising tension across the city.The police response could have been better, but it could have been a whole lot worse. Riots have to be stopped fast, and hopefully that's what will happen.
The first flashpoint was Lakemba, where a small group of Caucasian men began vandalising cars near the mosque. A crowd of about 500 local men quickly gathered, some of them turning on the interlopers while others threw missiles at police.
Shortly afterwards carloads of Lakemba men headed for Cronulla and nearby suburbs, bashing passers-by and smashing shops and vehicles.
Although intent on destruction, dozens of the intruders were arrested as they ran into a massive police net strung across Cronulla, Brighton-le-Sands and Maroubra.
The violence began at the Lakemba mosque, where hundreds of local men gathered before a hard core of hotheads drove east late in the evening.
About 70 car-loads hit Cronulla soon after 10 o'clock. Police had already began sealing off roads into the beach suburb.
Within 20 minutes police were responding to reports of assaults, vandalism, men on the streets with baseball bats, bashings and shots being fired.
A number of cars were stopped by police, with guns drawn.
Drivers and passengers were swiftly dragged on to the pavement and arrested.
At one stage police were chasing a Ford Laser which had tried to run down officers.
"Get out of the car, get out of the car," officers yelled at the driver when he was stopped minutes later on Elouera Rd.
A man and a youth with their hands up got out of car and were forced to the ground at gunpoint.
One note on the vandalising of cars at the Lakemba mosque: This article reports the situation a little differently:
Hundreds of youths last night rampaged in Lakemba, while further trouble was brewing in Maroubra and again in Cronulla. A woman police officer was injured when more than 400 youths of Middle Eastern descent smashed cars and rioted at Lakemba mosque.Even local newspapers have trouble keeping the story straight.
Posted by: Andrew at Tuesday, December 13 2005 11:19 PM (RWEVY)
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, December 13 2005 11:47 PM (AIaDY)
Posted by: Andrew at Wednesday, December 14 2005 09:39 AM (0585Z)
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