The Australia First Party rallied in Cronulla Mall Saturday to make a statement that reflects their strong Political belief, “End Immigration.”
This type of statement by the AFP is of no surprise. Head to their website http://www.australiafirstparty.net and the evidence is there in plain text. The AFP are proud nationalists and anti-multicultural. It has also been said that the proposed ideas voiced by the AFP are old-fashioned & racist.
Why were they in Cronulla on Saturday?
The AFP believes they have a supporting audience in Cronulla. Within the AFP website pages you will find a dated article journaling a bias account of the event most local Cronulla residents would like to leave behind – The Cronulla Riots. Dr Jim Saleam, the Cook candidate for the Party, stated in reference to the presence of multiculturalism in Cronulla on Riot day, “If there was any proof needed that ultimately there were Australians ready to stand up and be counted it was duly provided”. [http://www.australiafirst.net/2006/bulletin200602nn1cronulla2.htm]
With this opinion in place, Dr Jim Saleam gathered a small group of men dressed in amusing costumes – including what I believe to be an impersonation of Sadam Hussein. Their goal on Saturday was to make a stand in central Cronulla with intent to spread a fear mongering message that supports their ‘End Immigration’ campaign.
Does Cronulla support the AFP opinion?
Not being able to speak for everyone, I imagine some residents do; however, after witnessing the disgraced crowd that gathered around the AFP performance this past Saturday, I am proudly led to believe the majority do not.
Local Shire residents watching the group of men[who had blown their allowance at the local costume hire store] were not able to give this political party the response they were hoping for. In an attempt to spread the “Shire” message that refugees are not welcome, the AFP were met with compassionate human beings that were only too happy to express their personal view on the refugee debate and the current policy announcement.
Kylie Green, a Cronulla resident, happily provided this statement, “Yesterday [Saturday] I had the unfortunate experience to be an eye witness to something that made me truly embarrassed to be an Australian. The Australia First party were in Cronulla Mall attempting to encourage people to vote for them by way of a truly shameful demonstration exposing their values and beliefs of how they think Australia should be governed.”
“I spend a great deal of time and energy defending Cronulla. The little piece of paradise I am privileged to call home. Unfortunately, there are those out there that still associate us with the Cronulla Riots. The way we are very generally perceived is not correct, in most cases. Most of the residents of Cronulla do not oppose multiculturalism, the people that do are in the minority. After the opposition of the residents to this outrageous protest yesterday I can adamantly say, we do not want this and are vehemently opposed to it. We do not want people to associate Cronulla with these policies and beliefs of a white Australia.”
It was not by accident Dr Jim Saleam, the local Shire AFP candidate, placed his group within arms length of Scott Morrison, who was also visiting Cronulla that day. Dr Saleam quotes on the AFP website, “I seek a political brawl with Scott Morrison whom I must accuse of being a shameless fraud, a liar of the first order.” Dr Saleam’s statement goes on to read, “Morrison and Co. will certainly ‘stop the boats’ – by flying the planes. The Liberal government will turn boats around and then process these persons off- shore at some detention centre wheresoever it be. They will then assess the claims of these ‘refugees’ and as ever 90% plus will be found to be ‘legitimate’ (sic) as the boatpeople have been up to now (are we surprised?), they will be flown in – to welfare, houses, benefits, cash. They will then be ‘legal’ and their admission to Australia will conform to the United Nations Convention On Refugees.”
His statement above and on his website clearly identify the “assaulting” refugees as legitimate asylum seekers. Is he labelling the Shire as a suburban pocket of uncompassionate red necks? If a human being is legally and legitimately found as an asylum seeker, do they not deserve safety and a new life in Australia?
With speculation of a riot, due to words like “Nazi” & “KKK” being thrown at the AFP, Cronulla Police were on hand to step in should the community try to rock the AFP boat. From personal account I can state that the Cronulla Police maintained a peaceful presence and not the “heavy handed” approach once quoted by the AFP in reference to the Riots.
In response to Dr Jim Saleam’s assumption that the Shire lacks compassion, rejects multiculturalism and ignores the rights of refugees, I can personally say he is preaching to the wrong audience and I will happily direct him as to where he can put his seat.
Cronulla Resident for 21 years Samantha Edwards.