Pro-Palestine protest turns violent at Port Botany as demonstrators try to block an Israeli ship and a BABY is caught up in the fracas: 23 arrested after clashes with police
Hundreds of pro-Palestine protesters have clashed with police at one of Australia’s largest ports – with extraordinary video showing a baby in a pram being carried to safety.
About 23 people were arrested as they tried to block a cargo ship operated by Israeli shipping line Zim from coming into port on Tuesday night.
The protest began peacefully but quickly escalated after police blocked up to 400 demonstrators from marching down one of the roads at the port.
The group then decided to hold a sit-in with officers, some on horseback, attempting to move them on at about 8.45pm.
As tensions reached a boiling point, police began making arrests at the ‘unauthorised gathering’ with up to 23 protesters arrested.
‘When a peaceful sit-in to blockade a Zim shipping boat turned violent as NSW police started throwing down and arresting protesters, corralling us with horses and forcing us against a fence,’ a woman captioned footage of the protest on TikTok.
A NSW Police spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia: ‘A police operation has now concluded on Foreshore Road, Port Botany, following a unauthorised gathering.
‘Police arrested 23 people and they were taken to number of different police stations where they are assisting police with their inquiries.’
Hundreds of pro-Palestine protesters have clashed with police at one of Australia’s largest ports overnight with up to 23 people arrested (pictured, protesters clash with officers)
There were wild scenes as protesters were seen carrying a baby in a pram as police closed in
The group, which were protesting an Israeli shipping company, gathered at Port Botany, 12km south of Sydney ‘s CBD, on Tuesday night (pictured)
Police said up to 400 people gathered near the boat ramp at Foreshore Road, before the group moved towards the intersection of Sirius and Foreshore Roads.
‘Officers issued a group move on direction, which was not complied with. The group continued to occupy Foreshore Road, blocking vehicle movement,’ a statement said.
‘After a number of people continued to refuse police direction, 23 people were arrested before all people left the roadway about 9pm.’
The 23 people arrested were later charged with failing to comply with a move on direction and damage or disruption to a major facility.
The group held a similar protest against the same Israeli shipping company at Port Botany earlier this month.
Protesters in boats and jetskis confronted the 13,000-tonne cargo ship Contship Dax as it approached the container terminal to dock and unload.
Some activists claimed the vessel would be taking on supplies of armaments to be shipped to Middle East for the Israeli Defence Force to use against Hamas in Gaza.
But Israeli-based operator Zim Integrated Shipping dismissed the claims and said it was simply on its regular run between Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
‘The ships carry all types of Asian consumer products like white goods, textiles and food stuffs,’ a spokesman told Daily Mail Australia.
‘The ship does not carry any arms shipments.’
The gun-running rumours spread after Greens leader David Shoebridge told the Senate that Australia had scores of secret weapons export deals with Israel.
‘There is a blockade tomorrow at Botany to prevent wmds [weapons of mass destruction] destined for Palestine,’ posted one user on social media.
The shipping company targeted by Saturday’s jetski blockade at Sydney ‘s Port Botany has denied claims it was gun-running weapons for Israel to use in Gaza
Drill rap star and alleged Alameddine drug gang associate Ali ‘Ay Huncho’ Younes posted footage of the blockade on TikTok where followers repeated the false weapons claim.
The most recent demonstration follows weeks of similar protests held across Australia as pro-Palestine supporters call for a ceasefire in Gaza.
Palestine supporters targeted container trucks in Melbourne earlier this month.
Those detained were taken to several police stations and charged with failing to comply with move on directions and disrupting a major facility.
According to organisers, the demonstrators were there to protest the arrival of Israeli-owned container ship Calandra.
The rallies at Port Botany followed a protest in Melbourne targeting trucks carrying containers owned by the same Israeli company on November 8.
Several social media posts advertised the Port Botany jet ski protest claiming Zim was an ‘Israeli weapons transporter’. It was not
The gathering began peacefully but video aired by television networks showed scuffles between police and some of the crowd later in the evening.
One of the demonstrators, who gave his name as Benjamin, told Nine News ‘things started getting a little bit rough’.
‘The cops started trying to move people by dragging them,’ he said.
‘They mostly arrested the organisers up the front who were not giving any ground.’
A coalition of Palestinian unions and associations has called on workers worldwide to boycott Israel and businesses that support its regime.
The Port Botany protests have been organised by Palestine Justice Movement Sydney with the support of the Sydney Branch of the Maritime Union of Australia.