CityHub: Nineteen arrested at Port Botany after blocking arrival of Israeli cargo ship

Recently 19 individuals were arrested by police at Port Botany during a protest against the arrival of an Israeli cargo vessel responsible for transporting weaponry and resources for the Australian defense force. This protest was organised by the Palestine Justice Movement and Trade Unionists for Palestine. There were hundreds in attendance at the protest on Sunday evening, which finished with a march towards the primary access point on Penrhyn Road.

According to NSW Police, the protest was unauthorised, and some individuals disregarded police instructions.

The 19 individuals arrested were transported to Surry Hills Police Station and subsequently charged with offenses including obstructing roads or paths, failure to comply with police orders, and and remaining “near or on [a] major facility causing serious disruption”.

Those arrested were served court attendance notices to appear at Downing Centre Local Court in early May.

President of NSW Council for Civil Liberties (NSWCCL) Lydia Shelly said, “Policing of protest in NSW is out of control.”

“We cannot have a functioning democracy unless the right to protest is protected.”

She further called on anti-protest laws to be repealed.

In a joint statement released by the groups that organised last night’s protest described the state’s anti-protest laws as “draconian”.

More than 32,000 Palestinians have died in Israel’s retaliatory attacks since Hamas fighters attacked an Israeli music festival on October 7, killing 1,200 people.

There have since been 171 days of “intentional starvation, mass displacement, the destruction of infrastructure and now genocide in Gaza,” as Ms Shelly said.

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