Clashes between police and anti-vaccination protesters in Wellington

Clashes between police and anti-vaccination protesters in Wellington

The security forces intervened to disperse this gathering, specifically to dismantle the improvised camp that was set up near Parliament. As Maori activists sang a haka, chanting “Stand Your Stand” in the face of the police advance. The latter, who warned nearly 150 protesters that they risked arrest if they did not leave, was punched and kicked as they were insulted with slogans such as: “This is not democracy”, “shame on you” and “surrender”. duty”.

The police dismantled the camp in front of the House of Representatives

Marty Melville/AFP

Determined to stick to

This gathering, which began on Tuesday, resonated with an echo Freedom Caravan » Started at the end of January by Canadian truck drivers Denouncing the vaccination obligation to cross the border with the United States. Leaving Vancouver, they’ve been blocking for a week capital city ottawa It has inspired similar mobilizations in other countries.

In New Zealand, hundreds of caravans and trucks have closed down the Parliament area in Wellington. Most left after 24 hours, but a solid core remained determined to stay there “as long as necessary”.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said residents had run out of patience and the police should step in.

“City streets are closed, shops and businesses have been forced to close and people feel threatened and intimidated by some protesters,” he told Radio New Zealand. “Police recognize people’s right to protest but it must be done in a way that does not unfairly affect the general public,” Wellington Police Chief Constable Corey Parnell said.

Residents of the capital complained of being attacked for wearing protective masks and many businesses close to Parliament had to close because their employees asked to check health cards. Wellington Town Hall has warned that its agents will start issuing tickets for vehicles blocking streets as part of the mobilization of anti-sanitary measures. A woman, who declined to be named, accused the police of provoking the crowd. It was a peaceful protest, and what they did is a disgrace.” She added, “I never imagined seeing this in New Zealand.”

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.

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