October 15, 2007, the Age:
RESTAURANT patronage next to a cinema complex in Melbourne's west was yesterday said to be down, following a series of violent confrontations between rampaging teenagers and at least one altercation with police on Saturday night.Ramadan brawl erupts at shopping centre, Herald Sun:
African youths were among the crowd of at least 150 teenagers who confronted police in a series of fights that culminated in two brawls at the Highpoint shopping centre, in Melbourne's west, on Saturday. Teenagers charged at police as they arrived to contain a series of fights at the ground-floor entrance to the Hoyts cinema complex, off the Maribyrnong centre's Warrs Road car park, just after 5pm.
Six people were arrested for hindering police after a series of fights broke out between groups of African youths.
Police yesterday said about 10 officers were initially called to the scene. They ejected about 30 people from the Hoyts complex and arrested four others.
But after clearing the scene, 20 police in a convoy of more than 15 vehicles returned to the shopping centre less than an hour later to clear a crowd of 150 that had gathered outside. They arrested another two youths and used capsicum spray on a group of 20 who charged at them, then shut the cinema and nearby shops as the brawls continued. No police were injured ...
Hair-and-make-up artist Alicia Poxrucker yesterday told of watching the violence unfold through the locked glass doors of her photographic studio. She saw several youths dressed in tops marked with a large 'B', with the motto: "Die for nothing".
"When we looked out, we saw hundreds of kids and that the cinemas were closed and that there were 20 police among it all," she said.
"We decided to close when we saw police guiding kids off with capsicum or pepper spray. It was scary."
POLICE have denied Highpoint shopping centre is a problem area for ethnic gangs after a wild post-Ramadan brawl at the weekend.Andrew Bolt:
It is believed the fight between up to 20 youths erupted about 5pm on Saturday after several members of the group were ejected from the Hoyts cinemas because they were caught without tickets.
The group then spilled into the centre's food court where several girls began fighting each other.
By the time police arrived to disperse the group, numbers had swelled to more than 100.
Sen-Sgt Dave Byrt, from Footscray police, said the group had gathered to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
"Saturday night was just one out of the box in terms of one cultural group coming together in the one place," Sen-Sgt Byrt said ...
One trader disagreed, saying some of his staff were too intimidated to work weekend night shifts.
"A lot of the girls just won't work nights, we have mostly guys on because they know what can happen," the trader said.
Reader “omni” in comments below describes what police now face:Robyn Riley: Parents need to hang tough:I work at a busy suburban police station, pretty much in the heart of the shit storm that is currently the dirty and dangerous streets of Melbourne. In the past 5 to 6 years I have seen a dramatic increase in assaults committed by drunken males and females resulting in serious injuries to the victims. The offenders are from all races and of varied skin colour. There has also been a massive drop in respect for police officers with assaults on us on the increase. Just at my station alone there has been at least a dozen assaults on my work mates in the past few months and these incidents are gathering momentum.UPDATE 2
I’m very sorry - for two reasons - to have to concede that African youths were indeed involved in this brawl. Very sorry indeed
The answer has to come from individuals. What we need is people power, or, to be more precise, parent power.
What would you do if a child of yours forced police to form a human chain to protect innocent people out shopping on a Saturday afternoon?
I would haul them home, ground them and then make an impact where it really hurts by cutting off their allowance and their mobile phone. I would demand to take a more active interest in their friends and what they did with their spare time.
I would engage with them and make it my business, no matter how busy my own life might be, because that is what parents have to do.
Every parent of a teenager knows it is tough finding the balance.
Do we put it in the too-hard basket and keep our fingers crossed it won't happen again?
Or do we start talking to our kids about what is right and what is unacceptable?
All parents of those involved must take responsibility and take control. If government has a role to play it is to remind them of that and not to grandstand ...
I would have thought a better approach to solving the problem was to talk to Sudanese leaders and get some meaningful dialogue ...
And let's not fool ourselves into thinking it all begins and ends with race. It doesn't.
I have been at Highpoint with my own children when gangs of teenage boys and girls have stampeded through the crowd excited about a fight in the car park.
It was terrifying. They didn't care who they shoved aside. They charged through like wild animals.
And those kids were from a league of nations.
This is about undisciplined teenagers, who need to be reined in. What we can do, as parents, is teach them right from wrong.
It is what our parents taught us, but I fear a few of us have forgotten those lessons.
Check out the Black Wall Street website for some cheery role models these fellas look up to. Here is some B merchandise. With poor parenting and gangster role models and chic, what do you expect?
Pull your pants up and try cracking a smile some time.
Dear Robyn Riley,
All true, but nobody wants to do the dirty work of civilising the primitives. Not many missionaries around these days. Diversity fails on the ground.
See also: here and here.