An anti-Islam group is planning a rally to mark the 10-year anniversary of the Cronulla riots against Lebanese Muslim gangs despite heavy resistance from the local council, and is selling T-shirts bearing the slogan “Sydney is fun: Cronulla is a riot.”
The Guardian The Party for Freedom, led by Nick Folkes, has for months been planning a “memorial rally” at Cronulla on 12 December to mark 10 years since the race riots that enveloped the region and sparked a wave of violence across Sydney.
The Party for Freedom posted on its website: “Today we face a battle against a corrupt political oligarchy that wants to restrict freedom of speech, and deny patriotic Australians the right to mark the 10nth Cronulla Riots anniversary in Cronulla. Regardless of the opposition from the political establishment, we will be gathering in Cronulla on 12 December 2015 to celebrate the 10-year anniversary.”
But it is facing a number of hurdles after two applications to New South Wales police for permits to hold the event were refused. The Sutherland shire mayor, Carmelo Pesce, told Guardian Australia the council was considering applying to the supreme court for an injunction to stop the group if it failed to get approval.
The event, which is being promoted on conservative and anti-Islam groups’ social media pages, is being billed as a day of remembrance for locals who “stood up against years of physical, verbal and even sexual abuse perpetrated by Muslim gang members”.
“We all know the countless stories of south-west Sydney gangs preying on Aussies in the most despicable and racially degrading ways possible,” it reads.
“The scars will only heal when our state and federal governments acknowledge the failure of state sanctioned multiculturalism coupled with incompatible Islamic immigration and apologise to all Australians for forcing genocide upon the great people of this nation.”
Party For Freedom is an anti-Islam group that bills itself as an “alternative to the major treasonous political parties”. It is not registered with the Australian Electoral Commission.
The pro-Australia group, which wants an end to Muslim immigration, said the upcoming rally was a “fitting time to bury multiculturalism”.
In a post on its website, Party For Freedom said it was time Australians discussed the violent clashes from a decade ago, which it claimed had been “distorted” by governments and the media.
“For too long the truth has been the victim while the aggressive perpetrators have been raised up as ‘casualties’ of a ‘racist’ Australia,” it said.
“Year after year, Cronulla locals complained to council, state and federal governments and also police about the anti-social behaviour committed by Muslim gangs yet almost nothing was done to confront the daily troubles that lead to the Cronulla uprising.”
The group is touting an all-star cast of Australia’s far right, with four speakers listed on a flyer it has been distributing to local residents’ letter boxes.
Sergio Redegalli, who made the “Say no to burqas” mural in Newtown, is listed as a speaker. Redegalli has also made glass plates for the event in the shape of Spartan shields overlaid with southern crosses.
“Limited edition” T-shirts designed by Redegalli with the slogan “Sydney is fun: Cronulla is a riot” can be purchased from the Party for Freedom website for $49.95, available only in sizes large and above.
Folkes told Guardian Australia. “Like a hot potato, it’s like nobody wants to touch it. It’s hard to get answers from the council and the police.
“Our intention is not to go down there and cause violence. We’ve got a good record dealing with police. We see it as an important time to mark the anniversary to stand up against all Muslim intimidation.”
Folkes said the shirts were just a “bit of Aussie larrikinism” to draw attention to the group’s purpose of marking the anniversary
Reclaim Australia clashes with left wing pro -multiculturalism protesters last week in Sydney and Melbourne