Anti-vaccine demonstration dispersed by police

Anti-vaccine demonstration dispersed by police

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, specifically to dismantle the improvised camp that was set up near Parliament for three days, while Maori activists sang Hakkas with cheers. “Occupy positions!” In the face of police advances.

The latter, who warned about 150 protesters that they risked arrest if they did not leave, received punches and kicks punctuated by slogans such as ‘It’s not a democracy’And the ” 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 caravans and trucks closed the Parliament district in Wellington 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”.

Read also In New Zealand, a convoy of trucks protesting health measures

Took a mission to get a mask

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said residents’ patience with the disturbance caused by the protest had been exhausted and the police had to step in. “City streets are closed, shops and businesses are closed, and people are feeling threatened and intimidated by some protesters.”He told Radio New Zealand some time before the police move, a hundred-strong reinforcements were sent.

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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 blocking 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’.

Read also Truckers’ protests against restrictions continue in Canada, PM wants to ‘put an end to them’

The world with AFP

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