Race riots horrify residents

GLADSTONE residents were horrified by race riots in Sydney last weekend and called for understanding.

The Observer took to the streets yesterday to discover people's opinions on the riots.

The tension which caused the riots has been attributed to an incident last weekend when a lifesaver was allegedly bashed by two men of Middle Eastern appearance at Cronulla beach.

The majority of Gladstone residents polled on the issue, including Larry Dedaunton, expressed their dismay at recent events in Cronulla.

'It is totally un-Australian,' Mr Dedaunton said.

'There should be a lot of mediation and more community involvement. Violence isn't an alternative.'

Val Case believed the riots were simply an excuse for a fight.

'You get all these young ones together and they have nothing better to do,' Ms Case said.

'I lived at the beach and never saw that sort of thing. It's sad.'

Multicultural Social Group member Lucy O'Dwyer said the division between people during events at Cronulla had been disappointing.

'It is not a good attitude to have,' Mrs O'Dwyer said.

'It is very hard for those people who don't understand multiculturalism.

'The beach belongs to everyone not for just one ethnic group.'

Mrs O'Dwyer said people of different backgrounds would benefit and enjoy interaction.

'It's good to enjoy the happiness we have in Australia,' Mrs O'Dwyer said.

'To interact with other cultures in a nice way means we are free ? there is no division and we are all friends.'

A number of people approached yesterday were unaware of the riots, many saying they had not seen the television coverage.

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