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DIDGE - The View From Down Under

An Aussie’s ridgy-didge view of world affairs and popular culture.

Monday, December 12, 2005

I’m ashamed to be Australian...

The world view of Australia used to be one of friendly, laidback people, and a diverse landscape populated with unusual indigenous animals. In the past few years that has changed. When people around the world think of Australia they almost always think of one thing: racism. It was during the Tampa crisis that I became, for the first time, deeply ashamed of Australia and many of its citizens. I adored that our country had a huge population from different cultures and that they mingled, the true multicultural experience. But there has been a deep level of racism in Australian culture, going back to when the white settlers first set foot on land and met the indigenous inhabitants.

Racism spilled over in disgusting behaviour in the suburbs of Sydney yesterday...

Alcohol, the Australian flag and raw racism fuelled a violent rampage by thousands of young residents in Sydney yesterday, drawing widespread revulsion as bloodshed and bigotry turned a seaside suburb into a battleground.


...

As the crowd moved along the beach and foreshore area today, one man on the back of a Ute began to shout "No more Lebs" - a chant picked up by the group around him.

Others in the crowd, carrying Australian flags and dressed in Australian shirts, yelled "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie ... Oi, Oi, Oi".

...

"F--- off, get the f--- back to Lebanon," one man shouted at an 18-year-old man who had ventured to the beach for a dip.

He was the first to be targeted just before 11am, chased by 200 people to the Northies Hotel sports bar, where 20 bouncers joined police in holding back a crowd that swelled to several thousand. Many of them were drinking, some of them clearly underage.

The Age: Racist furore as mobs riot
The Age: Violence flares at Cronulla

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