By Nicole Nichols
Coming together for a cause, working as one toward a goal, demostrating solidarity in a belief sends our message of intolerance to those who want to run amok with their racist agenda better than all of the raw-jawing back and forth that usually goes on. The folks Down Under - know that - and they sent their message loud and clear this weekend.
Sydney, Australia...home of beautiful beaches and a good lifestyle until recently. Spurred on by the attack of two lifeguards by Muslims as well as claims that local women were being harassed, a mob of more than 5,000 has been engaging in all sorts of civil unrest across this city.
After days of rioting, Prime Minister John Howard told the media that the race riots at Sydney’s Cronulla beach did not mean Australia was a racist nation. "I do not accept there is underlying racism in this country," Mr Howard told reporters. There are numerous residents who would certainly disagree.
Yesterday, five white supremacists were arrested carrying materials to build petrol bombs. They were dressed in camouflage gear and wore commando-style utility belts and kevlar helmets. There were also five men of Middle-Eastern descent arrested for carrying "offensive weapons." To most, the claim that the unrest is not racial in nature is nothing short of ridiculous.
To make matters worse, a local radio host made racist comments which only added fuel to the fire. An ABC Newsbrief reported, "Brian Wilshire told listeners of his talkback program on the Macquarie radio network last night that Australians should not have to apologise for the drunken riots of last weekend. He then said many in Sydney's Muslim Lebanese community were inbred."
Another participant known as "Weezil," had this to say to me, "Thanks, Nikki. There are some people in this world who will be racist to their dying day. Can’t do anything about those poor, sad souls.
However, out on the streets yesterday, all across the country, Australians let it be known that if the racist talkback radio hosts and their nazi mates think they are going to manipulate our communities through disinformation, rumour-mongering, terrorism and violence, we will not sit idly by and let them do it."
And to all of the good citizens of Australia who participated and supported this event we commend you for your actions and your support against racism and bigotry. With people like this, the world will definitely be a kinder and gentler place.
FOR MORE PICTURES AND DISCUSSION OF THIS EVENT.