Police outnumbered bathers on many Sydney beaches Sunday in an unprecedented effort to prevent more of the racial rioting that hit Australia's largest city last weekend.
More than 2,000 police in patrol cars, inflatable dinghies, planes and helicopters and on bicycles and horseback kept a close eye on potential trouble spots a week after more than 5,000 mainly white youths, many of them drunk, fought a series of skirmishes with police and attacked people of Arab appearance.
On Sunday at Bondi beach, normally busy restaurants and bars - and the sand - were nearly empty.
At daybreak Sunday, about 40 Christian pastors and ministers, many from Sydney's eastern suburbs and the most affected beaches, issued a call for calm in the leadup to Christmas.
At Cronulla, scene of the original rioting, the pastors left behind a a sign spelling out "Peace" using a combination of black plastic bags and seaweed.
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