(Wellington) Several thousand protesters in New Zealand demonstrated against restrictions imposed to combat the spread of COVID-19, mobilizing a large police deployment in Wellington.
Posted on November 9, 2021
About 3,000 people, including dozens of motorcyclists, most of whom were not wearing masks, traveled through the center of the capital to reach the New Zealand parliament.
Some of the attendees carried “Trump 2020” flags, while others carried Maori banners, raised slogans against the lockdown, or supported teachers who risk losing their jobs if they refuse to be vaccinated.
Others have targeted Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with slogans such as “Pro Choice, Anti Jacinda” or the media.
The demonstration passed peacefully and dispersed after the demonstrators performed a Hakka in the parliament building.
Police said there were no arrests in Wellington, although they expressed disappointment that many in attendance were violating coronavirus restrictions.
Mme Ardern said most New Zealanders support his government’s response to the virus, noting that nearly 90% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
“What we saw today is not representative of the vast majority of New Zealanders,” she told reporters.
The New Zealand government has adopted a stringent response to the virus, with strict lockdowns and border closures. New Zealand has recorded 31 deaths from the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, out of a population of five million.
Residents of Auckland, the country’s largest city, have been confined to their homes since mid-August and Mayme Ardern indicated this week that these restrictions will continue through the end of November.
She promised to introduce more freedoms, including ending the lockdown, when 90% of the population is fully immunized. However, those not yet vaccinated will still face restrictions on work, travel and leisure.
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