Sunday, May 29, 2022

VIDEO: New Zealand police brutally breaks up anti-Covid vaccine mandate demonstration

WELLINGTON –– New Zealand police arrested 120 anti-vaccine mandate protesters Thursday on the third day of an “unprecedented” protest inspired by Canadian truckers outside Parliament in Wellington.

“We have never seen an occupation of this caliber,” Wellington police commander Corrie Parnell told reporters, referring to these protests, which include the blocking of streets and the placement of dozens of tents since Tuesday outside Parliament.

On the day, the police, who had initially arrested more than 50 activists, used pepper spray to control the mob in a series of incidents in which two officers were injured, as well as some demonstrators, although none of them seriously.

Those arrested, who will be formally notified that they have entered the Parliament grounds, face charges including trespassing and obstruction and will be released on bail to appear in court.

WATCH: (Warning: Graphic Content)

Reinforcements

The police command announced that it already has “150 additional reinforcements” to add to the 900 officers in Wellington, a number that will increase in the coming days.

The police operation comes in response to the “Convoy 2022 NZ” which has mobilized hundreds of people from all parts of the country to protest in the New Zealand capital against compulsory vaccination against covid and to call for the restoration of freedoms lost during the pandemic, among other demands.

Police today warned the hundreds of protesters that if they do not leave the site they risk arrest, although there is no sign that this will happen. Wellington authorities have also begun ticketing vehicles illegally parked at Parliament as well as in the vicinity of the War Memorial.

Throughout the day, some protesters have responded with insults, haka dances (traditional Maori ritual of defiance) and throwing objects at officers, according to Radio New Zealand.

The day before, protesters tried to break through the siege formed by a hundred police officers to enter the esplanade of the Parliament of the Oceanic country, which led to three arrests.

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New Zealand, whose government implemented one of the strictest covid strategies in the world with low-infection confinements and the closure of international borders, has accumulated some 18,500 covid infections and 53 deaths and has 94% of the target population with the complete pattern.

The government of Labour’s Jacinda Ardern, who was applauded worldwide at the start of the pandemic for her management of covid, announced last week the staggered reopening of international borders, which will include foreign tourists between July and October.