Police Arrest 23 Pro-Palestinian Demonstrators In Port Botany Protest
On Tuesday, NSW Police forcibly removed activists at a Port Botany protest. Around 400 pro-Palestinian activists were protesting the unloading of an Israeli-owned shipment.
The demonstration, organized by The Palestine Justice Movement Sydney (PJMS), saw major roads blocked. Reports state that police arrested 23 people, after they failed to comply with a move-on order. Police also charged the group with damage or disruption to a major facility.
Port Botany Protest
There were hundreds of protestors present, demanding a boycott of the international shipping line, ZIM. In addition, they asked for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. The crown chanted “free Palestine” whilst some banged on drums. Organizers believe that the Australian government should not be trading with pro-Israel companies.
ZIM is allegedly aiding Israel’s defence ministry by positioning their ships and other infrastructure.
NSW Police respond to Port Botany protest
On Tuesday evening, around 80 NSW police officers attended the protest. Officers prevented some protestors from marching on Foreshore Road. Then, the march headed to Sirius Road, which is an entry point to the port.
After a group of protestors refused to move from the port entrance, police removed them from their sit-in spot.
NSW Premier Chris Minns said that ports could not be blocked due to political disagreements and that it would be damaging to the economy.
Rising pro-Palestinian protests in Sydney
NSW Police Minister Yasmin Catley said:
“We’ve had seven weeks of protests now, in some instances, there has been almost 20,000 people protesting on the same day, at different times in our city over the last few weeks.” Catley added the vast majority have been peaceful.
On Monday, there was a similar protest outside Minns’ office. At this demonstration, NSW Police watched the group closely. Here, the police did not arrest anyone.
Convoys protest in Sydney
Mr Minns said the NSW Police will use emergency powers to stop pro-Palestinian car convoys travelling through Jewish suburbs. Over the past few weeks, around three convoys have travelled through Sydney streets. Two of which drove through suburbs with strong Jewish populations.
As a result of the convoys, Federal Berowra MP Julian Leeser stated that they were causing the Jewish community to become scared and unsettled. Leeser called for them to be outlawed. However, Roads Minister, John Graham, rejected this request on Saturday. He stated that the government can’t “intervene legally in people driving across the city”.
However, Minns has been tougher on the topic. He said that officers will use special powers to block the convoys if the route is set for the purpose of inflaming tensions.
- Black Lives Matter Protest at 12pm today in Sydney Domain (24.1)
- Last-Minute Justice: Insight from the Lawyers of the Black Lives Matter Protest Case (24)
- Victory – Appeal won – Black Lives Matter vigil and rally can legally proceed (23.6)
- Court of Appeal declares Black Lives Matter protest is an “authorised public assembly” (20.7)