Anti-vaccine protesters still gather despite typhoon

Anti-vaccine protesters still gather despite typhoon

Hundreds of anti-vaccine protesters camped outside Parliament in Wellington for six days, drawing inspiration from convoys of Canadian truck drivers.

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Cyclone Duffy, which caused power outages, landslides and evacuations across New Zealand on Sunday February 13, did not deter anti-vaccine protesters camping for six days outside Parliament in Wellington. Hundreds of them, inspired by the convoys of anti-Covid-19 health restrictions for Canadian truck drivers, danced in the mud to music that was meant to drive them apart.

Like the Canadian truck drivers who paralyzed the capital, Ottawa, New Zealand protesters are opposing the government’s strict anti-Covid measures and demanding an end to required vaccinations for people working in certain sectors such as health. Their resolve appears to have been strengthened after the police intervened on Thursday, which led to the arrest of 122 people. Since then, the police have abandoned making arrests and the authorities have tried to discourage them by operating automatic machine guns.

On Sunday, when winds of up to 130 kilometers per hour swept Wellington and other parts of the archipelago, police told people to avoid non-essential travel. Many roads were cut off due to landslides. North Wellington, homes were evacuated. Several areas suffered power outages, and firefighters responded by falling trees on homes and power lines, flying roofs and flooding.

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