More than 50 protesters were arrested protesting against vaccination against Covid-19 on Thursday, February 10 in Wellington, New Zealand. The security forces intervened to disperse this gathering, and specifically to dismantle the improvised camp that was set up near the parliament for three days, while Maori activists sang Hakkas with cheers. “Holding positions!” In the face of police advances.
The latter, who warned nearly 150 protesters that they risked arrest if they did not leave, received punches and kicks punctuated by slogans such as ‘It is not a democracy’And ” shame on you “ or Letting go of the obligation.
The rally, which began on Tuesday, echoed the “freedom convoy” launched by Canadian truck drivers at the end of January to denounce the compulsory vaccination required to cross the border with the United States. After leaving Vancouver, they lay siege to the capital, Ottawa, for a week and inspired similar moves in other countries.
In New Zealand, hundreds of caravanserais and trucks closed down Wellington’s Parliament District on Tuesday. Most of them left after twenty-four hours of occupation, but the hard core remained determined to hold out “As long as necessary”.
Took a mission to get a mask
Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said residents’ patience with the disturbance caused by the protest had run out and police had to step in. “City streets have closed, shops and businesses have been forced to close, and people feel threatened and intimidated by some protesters”He told Radio New Zealand some time before the police move, a hundred reinforcements were sent.
Residents of the capital have complained of being attacked for wearing protective masks, and many businesses close to Parliament have had to close because their employees have asked to check health entry permits. Wellington City Hall has warned that its agents will start issuing tickets for vehicles that block streets as part of the mobilization against health measures.
“The police recognize the right of people to protest, but it must be done in a way that does not unfairly affect the general public.”Cory Parnell, Wellington Police Chief, commented. A woman who refused to give her name accused the police of provoking the crowd: It was a peaceful protest, and what they did is a disgrace. » ‘I never imagined seeing this in New Zealand’she added.
New Zealand has made vaccination against Covid-19 mandatory for people working in the health, police, education and defense sectors. Those who refuse face the risk of dismissal. Proof of vaccination is required at restaurants, sporting events, and religious services. According to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, ‘96% of New Zealanders have been vaccinated’.
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