Pell calls race mob action a disgrace

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney has said that the city's weekend beach riots that continued last night are a disgrace, and that all people of goodwill should reject the extremists in both camps and work together to end the disturbances.

CLICK HERELast night, 11 men were arrested and seven people, including a police officer, were injured in a second night of unrest in Sydney's south and west.

In a statement yesterday, he said that the joint resolution is necessary to prevent "something worse", and that mob violence is totally opposed to the spirit of our Australian Christmas celebrations.

"We should use this pre-Christmas time to let the dust settle so we can identify the best way forward," he said.

"This trouble has been brewing on the beaches and in the suburbs for some years and was made worse by alcohol and possibly by marijuana," he continued. "Everyone should be free to go to any beach and be free from harassment, whatever their background. Violent action by vigilante groups anywhere is not acceptable."

Caradinal Pell expressed his full support for Police Commissioner Ken Moroney's "strong law enforcement" approach.

Cardinal Pell saiad that local Catholic communities and authorities are prepared to cooperate in any useful way to foster harmony and eliminate violence.

Meanwhile Phil Glendenning of the Edmund Rice Centre issued a statement earlier this morning, suggesting that "years of policy neglect in the area of community relations coming home to roost".

Glendenning, the Centre's Director, said the policy neglect has led to an "us" and "them" mentality.

"Racism does not grow wild in a field, it is tended in a window box. It is cultivated. It is cultivated through bad policy and years of dog whistle politics at the federal level which has sought to divide Australians into groups of 'us' and 'them'," he said.

"This process has even been formalised to the point where we have one department to cover immigration, multiculturalism and indigenous affairs - that is, one department to cover any Australian who is non-white, non- Anglo-Celt".

"We have two classes of Australians, as the recent Vivian Solon, Cornelia Rau and Robert Jovicic cases indicate", Mr Glendenning added. "These things, like Cronulla, do not happen by accident".

"Through Hansonism, the Tampa incident, children overboard, weapons of mass destruction and the unfair targeting of people of Islamic background over issues like terrorism and Iraq, Australia's young people are growing up in a culture of fear of the other", Mr Glendenning said.

Comment from Cardinal Pell regarding riots in Sutherland Shire (Archdiocese of Sydney 12/12/05)
Beach Riots Inevitable Product of the Politics of Division (Edmund Rice Centre 13/12/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of Sydney
NSW Police

Eleven Arrested After Overnight Incidents - Operation Seta (NSW Police 13/12/05)
16 arrested in night of violence in Sydney (NSW Police 12/12/05)
Community crisis demonstrates need for Christ (sydneyanglicans.net 12/12/05)
Ministers call culture to account (sydneyanglicans.net 13/12/05)

13 Dec 2005