Arrests made after activists clash with police at Port of Melbourne

Ten people have been arrested after dozens of activists clashed with police outside a major Melbourne port yesterday.

Dozens of police on horseback descended on the group of pro-Palestine protesters following a fourth day of action.

The protesters were blocking port workers from unloading an Israeli-owned ZIM ship.

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Police officers deployed capsicum spray to control the crowd. (9News)

Officers deployed capsicum spray to control the crowd, before pushing them towards Port Melbourne beach.

A spokesperson from Victoria Police said officers were forced to take action due to the “aggressive nature of some of the protesters”.

Up to 10 people were arrested by police, nine people for trespassing and one person for criminal damage.

The spokesperson described the escalating protest activity as “extremely dynamic”.

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More than 200 police were in attendance at its peak. (Nine)

The group of protesters had hindered the Israeli-owned shipping company, Zim, from loading and unloading vessels over four disruptive days, including blocking dock workers from entering the premises.

No ZIM ships have been moved in the past few days as protesters remained at the site around the clock.

Police said they would continue to work with the Victorian International Container Terminal (VICT) and Port of Melbourne in response to protests.

“We acknowledge that this protest action is of concern to some employees,” the spokesperson said.

“While vehicle access to the dock has always been maintained during protests, some employees have chosen not enter past the protesters.

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Police soon split the group in two and pushed them towards Port Melbourne beach. (9News)

“That is why we have made numerous offers to assist to VICT and the Port of Melbourne to get employees to and from work via alternate routes.

“While these offers to assist were declined on Saturday and Sunday morning, they were supported on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, we continue VICT employees to access their workplace.”

ZIM and operating tenant VICT have been contacted for comment.

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