Sydney, Jan.27 (ANI): IT was a day to celebrate all things Australian, but it quickly descended into an afternoon of violence and racism, with people of Asian origin being the prime targets.
Australia Day today became a scene of brawls and vandalism across New South Wales - with anger spreading from Shell Harbor in the south to Port Macquarie in the north, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Wild brawls were also reported on the Gold Coast at Burleigh Beach, with hundreds of teenagers coming together in a series of violent confrontation on the popular family beach.
The brawls occurred at about 3 p.m. and a heavy police presence was on hand. Several arrests were made.
In the Sydney subrub of Manly, hundreds of youths draped in "Aussie pride" livery wore slogans declaring "f--k off we're full" as they smashed car windows and ran up the famous Corso targeting non-white shop keepers.
A 18-year-old Asian female in one of the cars was showered with shattered glass, giving her numerous cuts to her arms. Ambulance officers treated her on the scene.
A taxi driven by a Sikh Indian was also targeted while an Asian shopkeeper was reportedly assaulted.
Groups of men jumped up on cars chanting race hate to the terrified passengers within, and were heard singing "tits out for the boys" at passing girls and yelled "lets go f--k with these Lebs".
What started as chants of "Aussie Aussie Aussie" at 1 p.m. (AEDT) had in an hour had developed the potential to resemble Cronulla Beach in 2005.
By 3.30pm (AEDT) Manly Police called in the public order and riot squad and PolAir in an attempt to control the crowd, made up of a core group of troublemakers estimated by police about 80 drunks teenagers from out of town.
By 4.30pm (AEDT) the rain came and the cooled tensions as police began to regain control.
By the end three cars were damaged, one 16-year-old boy was charged with assaulting police, two 16-year-olds were cautioned for offensive behaviour and one cautioned for jumping into the water in front of the ferry. (ANI)