News State NSW News No charges after Cronulla rally arrests

No charges after Cronulla rally arrests

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Two men arrested at rallies marking the 10th anniversary of the Cronulla riots have not been charged by police.

Officers are again expected to be on high alert at the popular southern Sydney beach on Sunday after hundreds gathered for opposing protests on Saturday.

The arrested pair were among about 150 anti-racism activists who descended on the beach in response to a “halal-free” barbecue hosted by far-right groups.

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Riot police kept the opposing groups hundreds of metres apart, nabbing the two men just minutes apart at about 2pm.

Arrests made as anti-Islam activists gather for "halal-free" BBQ.
Arrests made as anti-Islam activists gather for “halal-free” BBQ.

A 25-year-old man was hauled away for disrupting the peace but later released without charge.

Police have not decided whether to press charges against another man, aged 58, who was arrested for offensive behaviour.

Officers marched the anti-racism activists right through Cronulla’s main streets to the nearby train station at about 2.30pm without any further arrests.

There were no incidents among the 100-odd crowd of anti-Islam supporters, who dispersed at about the same time.

Sutherland Shire Mayor Carmelo Pesce said many of the protesters on Saturday hijacked the “sad, ugly” 2005 riots for their own political gains, urging them to stay away.

“Ninety per cent of the people at the riots weren’t even from the Shire and that was the case again today,” Mr Pesce told AAP.

“Come to Cronulla for our beaches and cafes, but if you’re coming to cause trouble, stay away, we don’t want you here.”