The Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) remained closed on Monday evening as pro-Palestinian protestors organized a blockade to prevent ships from entering. The target for the blockades is the ZIM container ship “ZIM GANGES,” which has been kept out of the port of Melbourne by protestors.
The protest began on 19th January, when protestors from the “Trade Unionists for Palestine” interfered with the unloading of the ZIM container ship.
AIS data, however, reveals that two other ships are stuck inside the port, moored alongside the terminal.
The measures taken by protestors include physically preventing vehicles and port employees from entering the terminal complex. Additionally, there are circulating videos that show protestors shoving a man trying to enter the terminal, while another shows a scuffle between the protestors and the police.
VICT Container Terminal CEO Bruno Porcheitto stated to ABC News that the employees were not feeling safe due to the police not being able to guarantee their safety. The police have used pepper spray on the activists and arrested a woman on an assault charge over the weekend. However, the blockade still persists.
The vessel is registered in Portugal, owned by Germany’s MPC Capital, and operated by Israeli container line ZIM. ZIM is a cargo shipping company that is controlled and partly owned by the Israeli government. This has made ZIM a target for pro-Palestinian protestors, who are protesting against the ongoing Israeli operation in Gaza.