The closure of a favourite local drinking-spot caused a riot in the Australian industrial town of Newcastle on Wednesday (19 September) night.
The closure of a favourite local drinking-spot caused a riot in the Australian industrial town of Newcastle on Wednesday (19 September) night. It took one hundred policemen several hours to disperse the demonstrators, who were throwing cans, rocks and bottles.
SYNOPSIS: The trouble started when police tried to evict drinkers from Newcastle's one-hundred-year-old Star Hotel. Some two thousand people had gathered there for the hotel's last night; it is scheduled to be replaced by a shopping centre.
The demonstrators were already angry at plans for the Star's demolition. Ten thousand local people had signed a petition calling for it to be kept open. It was when the police tried to enforce the hotel's ten p.m. closing time that the violence began. Hundreds of empty beer cans and bottles were at hand, and the demonstrators made use of them. And as arrests were made, infuriated drinkers attempted to release their friends. Thirty people were hurt in the fighting, mostly by flying bottles; another thirty-five were arrested.
Police cars were overturned as the demonstrators forced back their opponents beneath a hail of missiles. Firemen were called in as cars were set on fire and eventually they restored order by turning powerful hoses on the demonstrators.