Statement regarding Webb dock protests
23 January 2024 – for immediate release
Free Palestine Melbourne stands in full solidarity with Trade Unionists for Palestine’s peaceful four-day community picket of Webb Dock Victoria International Container Terminal.
Having done our utmost to cultivate good relations with Victoria Police since the beginning of October, Free Palestine Melbourne is gravely concerned over reports that excessive force was used in the break up of the picket, including:
- the unlawful use of pepper spray,
- assaults on medics while they were treating the injured,
- the use of police horses and charging police to push people into moving vehicle and bushes,
- the assault of a disable person, who was dragged from their wheelchair.
Accordingly, Free Palestine Melbourne urges Victoria Police to fully investigate the alleged abuses, sanction guilty officers, offer apologies and compensation to the victims of the alleged abuses, and make their findings available to the public.
Free Palestine Melbourne is a supporter of the non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against companies and institutions associated with Israel’s apartheid regime. We maintain that the Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd. has played an indispensable role in the Zionist colonial project since before the creation of Israel to the present day. We therefore believe that Zim should be a prime target for BDS actions and deplore the demonisation of the picketers by sections of the mass media and the Victorian opposition.
Free Palestine Melbourne wishes to express our solidarity with the dock workers who were stood down without pay for refusing to work in unsafe conditions, and for those who took part in the picket, particularly those who were injured or traumatised during its break up.