CRONULLA: IN DEFENCE OF THE HISTORICAL MEANING AND LEGACY OF THE 2005 CIVIL UPRISING
Dr. Jim Saleam (and others)
A group of reactionaries is going to Cronulla on December 12 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of what they call – “the Cronulla riots”.
The so called anti racists (mostly anarchists and Trotskyites) will turn out to counter-demonstrate them, and to trash Cronulla – and attempt petty street violence. They say on their posters littered about Sydney, that the racist “Cronulla riots” must never occur again.
From the so-called right-wing ‘patriots’, there is a desecration of memory. From the so-called left-wing ‘anti racists’ there is an attack upon identity.
In 2005, Jim Saleam coined the phrase “Civil Uprising” for the Australian people’s movement that spread over a week in Cronulla. He and other nationalists called the response of certain Arab gangs “racist and politically motivated violence”.
There were no riots. It was the multicultural industry and its compliant media which spoke of riots. Each time they asserted ‘riot’ against the Australians, we replied with Civil Uprising. It was a dialogue that danced through the electronic and print media of the day. The fight over political language is no mean thing.
The nationalists said years ago there was a cultural struggle argued in various ways including violence, an ethnic clash which resulted in Cronulla remaining essentially for a decade since – ‘white’. In reply, the Australians have remained figures of racial hate ever since for Australia’s burgeoning Arab and other Middle Eastern communities. They also encapsulate for the political elite that symbol of an Australia they too would happily abolish for an Asian future.
Now we see in an appalling trashing of historical meaning and legacy, these ‘patriots’ want to go one step further than just remembering riots. They say that the “riots” were about Islam: Aussies protesting Islam and Islamics doing violence against non believers.
These so-called ‘patriots’ drawn from the Party For Freedom, some followers of Reclaim Australia leader Shermon Burgess and some other conservatives, wish to transform this critical event in recent Australian culture-politics into part of their dialogue about Islam. For them, Islam and Islam alone is the challenge to their vision of Australia. As we have said elsewhere, this vile vision is just ‘Diversity Minus Islam’ – which is still diversity. For these would- be patriots, Cronulla is where their campaign on all things Islamic began. No, it just wasn’t.
This rabble of would be patriots was not present at Cronulla in December 2005. nor did they speak for it. It is now just convenient for them that they seek to enter into the historical memory with a different interpretation and ride it as a justification.
Islam? Yes, the majority of the thugs who stalked Cronulla in the lead up to the Civil Uprising were Muslim and the majority who resorted to violence against the upsurge of December 11 2005, were Muslims. Not all were. Many were also ‘Christians’. What they shared in common is that they belonged to an ethnic group or groups which lived then, as it / they does / do now, overwhelmingly in South Western Sydney.
This was not just about Islam. It was about race and culture. That is the essential dialogue Australia will have if it is to be one sort of country or another. There is an issue with Islam in Australia that demands response, but the Cronulla message goes beyond it.
In December 2005, Australians commanded – for the first time since 1966 when the White Australia Policy was abandoned – their own streets.
The legacy of Cronulla is that it is in the tradition of Lambing Flat (1861) and Barcaldine (1891), a symbol of mass action that suggests that in certain circumstances the ethnic discussion cannot remain restricted with nice parameters.
Eradicating the invading Chinese at Lambing Flat (1861)
The anti Islamic types who gather with Freedom and Shermon Burgess wish to narrow this discussion and steal a symbol to cover their anti patriotic betrayal of Australian identity. In some cases, the whole point about them is this anti Islam agenda – which is just not what it appears to be either because it points Australia towards a never-ending Middle Eastern engagement for the benefit of their other great love – Israel. Maybe these anti patriots might oblige us and parade about Cronulla with Israeli flags? Could we be that lucky?
On December 12, Australia First Party will organize some separate events in the Sutherland Shire. We are obliged to do that, because we cannot permit the hijacking of our Australian people’s history by political con men.
One, two, three – many Cronullas!