Tensions are rising in Sydney’s south after a group of young men were arrested over a violent brawl at Cronulla beach.
Locals took to social media on Saturday night to vent their frustrations and fears, noting large groups of men had been seen heading to the beach ‘swearing and carrying on’ earlier that day.
Many drew parallels to the circumstances that brought on the 2005 Cronulla race riots, with one woman noting: ‘If this keeps happening it will only result in another riot’.
‘It’s been a while since the Cronulla riots. Looks like things might be going back to the way they were,’ one man wrote.
A large brawl involving nearly 50 ‘Middle Eastern’ men broke out at North Cronulla beach on Saturday because they were fighting over a girl
Onlookers described it as ‘alcohol-fueled violence’ on what was supposed to be a friendly family day out in the sunshine
Locals were left fuming after the fight, believing it was a return to a time where there was much division between residents and people who came to the beach from other areas of Sydney
Police were praised for quickly intervening and ushered the remaining spectators back to Cronulla train station
Police were called to North Cronulla Beach about 3pm on Saturday after a large brawl involving nearly 50 men broke out, reportedly over a girl.
Onlookers told Seven News at the time it was ‘alcohol-fueled violence’. Four men were arrested and the rest ushered back to the nearby train station.
Though Cronulla beach is an alcohol free zone, it is not uncommon to see groups of people setting up an esky among their towels.
As the only beach on a train line, the area is often inundated on hot days by those who have come from outside the Sutherland Shire to use the beach.
The accessibility of the beach proved a sore point with some locals on Saturday, with many claiming they had seen the men involved in the brawl, or other groups of young men get off the train and head to the beach.
Locals claimed they had seen large groups of people arrive at Cronulla via train on Saturday, before the brawl broke out – and police ushered the groups back towards the trains as they sought to break up the fight (pictured: Cronulla train station)
One frustrated resident suggested closing down the train station to make it harder for visitors to arrive in the summer
One resident called for the station to be closed between 9am and 5pm in summer to stop people from visiting.
Saturday’s fight comes just months before the 12-year anniversary of the Cronulla race riots.
In summer 2005, tensions increased after two volunteer surf lifesavers were assaulted when they responded to complaints that young men of Middle Eastern appearance were insulting girls on the beach in the Sutherland Shire.
A week later, thousands rallied in Cronulla and people of Middle Eastern appearance were violently assaulted.
Heaving, violent crowds ran through the surf-side suburb unrestrained, resulting in some being glassed, bashed and stabbed.
In December 2005, tensions between locals and groups who were visiting from other areas of Sydney reached breaking point, resulting in a violent riot
Many comments from local residents appeared directed at a specific crowd, who they claimed were coming to the beach via train and stirring up trouble
Just prior to the 2005 riots, many locals were bemoaning the inability of local police to keep crowds coming to the beach under control
Just prior to the riots, many locals were bemoaning the inability of local police to keep crowds coming to the beach under control.
On Saturday, one young man from the area noted the groups were again disturbing the peace.
‘So many blow ins being absolute f***wits with no respect AGAIN,’ he wrote.
‘Sort it out cops or it’s just going to play out the same way!’
A spokesperson for Miranda Police LAC told Daily Mail Australia police would be out in force at the beach again on Sunday, with officers patrolling the area ‘on hot days’ regardless.
NSW Police told Daily Mail Australia no charges have been laid over Saturday’s scuffle, but inquiries are continuing.
THE CRONULLA RIOTS OF DECEMBER 2005
After months of tension off-duty surf lifesavers are bashed on the beach by men believed to be of Middle Eastern background
Text messages circulate calling on locals to fight back the following weekend including ‘get down to North Cronulla to support Leb and wog bashing day’
An estimated 5000 people, many fuelled by alcohol, converge on Cronulla car park for the demonstration and it quickly escalated into a riot
Young men ‘of Middle Eastern appearance’ are attacked near a local pub and on the train after attempting to flee the angry mob
Sunday afternoon: Youths chased and bashed two men who tried to escape them by running into Cronulla train station
Police who are clearly outnumbered by the rioters begin to fight back with batons at the train station
A revenge attack is planned at Punchbowl Park in the south-west
Up to 100 cars are damaged and people bashed at Maroubra in the city’s east
Text messages begin to circulate once more urging ‘all Arabs unite as one’
Up to 2000 men converge on Lakemba Mosque, some armed with pistols, after reports Bra Boys surf gang would retaliate to the violence of the previous night
Monday night: An angry mob kick and punch a young man during the second night of rioting
About 200 of those who had arrived at the mosque then drive to locations in Cronulla, Brighton-le-Sands, Miranda, Rockdale and Maroubra and lay siege to cars, shops and homes.
CCTV reveals how one youth is kicked and punched mercilessly by a mob of 30
A peace deal is discussed in meetings involving surf and bikie gangs and Muslim leaders at Maroubra
Up to 200 police vehicles at the scene of the Rockdale soccer field used as a command centre
Cronulla and surrounding areas placed in lockdown
A local soccer field at Rockdale becomes a command centre with 200 cars and 450 police inside.
Police stop and search all cars entering the Cronulla area confiscating many weapons
Up to 40 people were injured during the violence and more than 100 charged