Opposition movements in New Zealand, inspired by Canada’s Freedom Convoy, surged on Wednesday at Wellington’s parliamentary premises, officials said.
“Today there was an influx of protesters, including children, in Congress, but the crowd was orderly,” police deputy chief cabinet secretary Richard Chambers said at a news conference.
“This is a very complex situation and we are aware of the tactics needed to keep the situation from getting worse,” he added. The commissioner estimated that there were about 450 vehicles blocking the site.
Officials said demonstrators would begin towing cars to unblock the roads around Wellington’s “Beehive” Congress if they did not voluntarily leave the area. It is now on the ninth day that protesters have occupied the parliamentary grounds and demonstrators have begun chanting: Our city. “
Police had previously sought help from the towing service, but the tow truck company said it was sympathetic to the anti-mandate protesters and did not want to get involved.
“Various reasons have been raised, but the reason most of my colleagues don’t want to put a tow truck there is because they sympathize with what’s happening in Congress,” Wellington’s owner said. One Greg Cox said.Cox heavy truck salvage, local news agency NZ Herald..
New Zealand police commissioner Andrew Coster said authorities are seeking further assistance in removing the vehicle, including towing capability from the military.
“We have asked the New Zealand Defense Force for towing assistance and are waiting for the outcome of that request,” said Coster, although authorities “do not seek escalation” and respect legitimate protests. , The road will be cleared as “to help citizens live their daily lives safely”.
“We are involved with protesters on how to protest, but we need a line here. This cannot last indefinitely,” he said.
Inspired by truck driver demonstrations in Canada, protesters blocked several roads around Wellington’s “Beehive” Congress with trucks, vans, and motorcycles for nine days and camp on the lawn in front of a unique building. Did.
Police ultimatumed protesters on Tuesday and either left, or authorities began towing and seizing vehicles. Chambers said on Wednesday that authorities were able to contact the demonstrators’ leaders and that about 12 vehicles were already moving voluntarily.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern referred to Canada-inspired anti-mandate demonstrations as an “imported” phenomenon and rejected a call to remove the CCP’s virus restrictions and mandates.
“It feels like an imported protest to me,” Ardan told state broadcaster TVNZ in an interview. “I’ve seen the Trump flag in the front yard. I’ve seen the Canadian flag in the front yard.”
Protests began in opposition to the COVID-19 vaccine obligation, but these demonstrators focused on groups calling for the abolition of pandemic restrictions and other social issues such as censorship and the rights of the Maori ethnic community. The gathering group participated.
Reuters contributed to this report.
from NTD News