A Melbourne shipyard has ground to a halt after hundreds of pro-Palestine protesters blocked entry roads, preventing trucks from accessing the area where an Israeli shipping line operates.
Demonstrators linked to the Trade Unionists for Palestine group, draped in the Palestinian flag, lay on the road outside the Victorian International Container Terminal on Wednesday, blocking massive supply trucks.
The trade unionists along with people from the Palestinian and Jewish communities called for an immediate ceasefire, an end to the genocide in Gaza, and justice for Palestine.
Israeli forces have bombarded the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip after a bloody incursion on October 7 by the group listed as a terrorist organisation by the Australian government.
Chants of "keep the children safe" blared through megaphones and the banging of drums echoed through the shipyard as more than 200 protesters waved Palestinian flags and brandished Free Palestine signs.
Protesters say shipping line ZIM, the oldest and largest shipping company in Israel, has a long history of supporting war crimes and ethnic cleansing against Palestinians.
"Disrupting ZIM is an important victory for unionists, workers, and ordinary people everywhere as we stand up against Israel's genocide and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians," Unionists or Palestine member Matthew Abbott said.
The company's vessels have faced "block the boat protests" in ports around the world as pro-Palestine supporters campaign against civilian deaths in Gaza.
Protesters in Sydney are set to rally against the arrival of the Israeli shipping company on Saturday when it arrives at Port Botany.
NSW Premier Chris Minns has warned those participating of the consequences of disrupting lawful trade.
"You can't stop trade, you can't stop commerce from other business entities in the state and you can't preach hate on Sydney streets," he said.
But Palestine Justice Movement Sydney organisers said business as usual could not continue.
"(ZIM) is a major transporter of armaments," representative Ahmed Abadla said.
"It isn't welcome in Port Botany or anywhere people stand against genocide and war crimes."
Australian Associated Press
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