Campaign to celebrate Cronulla riots banned


Ten years ago today, Australia's worst racially-fuelled riots exploded on Sydney's Cronulla Beach.

It's been described as a disgrace, but now a right-wing group wants to celebrate it by holding a rally.

A decade ago waves of angry young men marched through Cronulla in a show of force.

It began after a number of scuffles between Middle Eastern groups and the self-described 'locals'. 

It was fuelled by talkback radio and text messages imploring people to fire up and reclaim the country.

Now a far-right group want to hold a rally to remember the riots. Today the Supreme Court stepped in and banned it.

"This is censorship," says Party for Freedom chairman Nick Folkes. "This is sharia law in action. Where's the freedom of speech?"

Rally organiser Mr Folkes is now banned from speaking publically, but says others still can.

"I think some people will take heed of the notice and won't turn up but there'll be plenty of other people who will be really frustrated and pissed off and they'll be down there."

But the majority of locals say the day shouldn't be celebrated.

"Since then it's something we'd rather forget," says one local.

"I'm really angry about it because the people organising it don't have anything to do with our community," says another.

A Halal-free BBQ is planned for tomorrow and police are warning they'll be out in force.

"This is not something we want to be dwelling on," says Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn of the NSW police force. "It's not something the community wants to go ahead. If something does occur we will have our resources there."

Because, even ten years on, it could easily happen all over again. 

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