A pro-Palestine protest yesterday afternoon by around 300 people forced Israeli shipping line ZIM to reschedule the arrival of a cargo ship into the Port of Melbourne.
For almost 12 hours, demonstrators occupied the road leading to the Victorian International Container Terminal (VICT), preventing trucks, some carrying ZIM containers, from accessing the port.
ZIM, Israel’s largest shipping company, has a long history of supplying the military, and last month reaffirmed its commitment to serving the “national needs of Israel,” offering the Netanyahu regime all of its ships and infrastructure for the country’s onslaught against Gaza.
Those participating in the protest included members of the Palestinian community, as well as students, young people and activists. The rally garnered a wide audience online, with at least one video receiving more than 145,000 views on Twitter/X.
Yesterday’s action is part of an international wave of protests, with expanding mass rallies in cities throughout the globe, including a 40,000-strong event in Melbourne on Sunday. It reflects a strong sentiment of opposition among broad sections of the Australian population to the genocide being carried out by the Zionist state of Israel, with the full support of imperialist governments worldwide, including the Albanese Labor government in Australia.
In Australia and globally, there is a developing sense among workers and young people that the atrocities taking place in the Middle East must not just be condemned, but actively fought against. The unanimous complicity of world leaders is making clear to growing layers that the road of appeals to parliamentarians will only lead to a dead end. The question of action targeting workplaces and industry is increasingly in the air.
Reporters from the World Socialist Web Site spoke to some of those who took part in the demonstration yesterday.
A driver whose truck was blocked by the action spoke out in support of the protest. He said of the attacks against Gaza, “It’s a disgrace. I’ve seen a lot of videos of people getting bombed, kids getting burned. Over here, people are trying to support them, putting their voice up. Albanese should look after the Australian people first rather than sending money to kill people overseas.”
Mona, an accountant, said, “For the last month I’ve been unable to do my job, to be honest. I’m unable to concentrate. I’m physically there but I’m mentally not there.
“I’m really appreciative of the protest today, because it says that there are people who do not accept the grave injustice that is happening to the people in Gaza.”