More than 120 people have been Arrested during a Dispersal of a Protest Camp in New Zealand
More than 120 people were detained today as police began removing a camp of protesters in front of the New Zealand parliament, the DPA reported. The camp was set up by opponents of compulsory vaccination.
Wellington Capital Police Chief Corey Parnell said there was still a heavy police presence in front of parliament today. The police forces have ordered the area to be emptied, but there are still protesters who refuse to obey the insistent calls to leave it. “We recognize the right of citizens to protest, but those who act in violation of the law can be arrested,” Parnell said. They can be accused of entering an unauthorized area and obstructing the actions of law enforcement.
Radio New Zealand reported that there were minor clashes between protesters and security forces.
Thousands rallied in front of the New Zealand parliament on Tuesday to protest the anti-epidemic measures. They arrived from the country in cars, trucks, motorcycles and parked them in the streets around Parliament, apparently inspired by the action of Canadian drivers in Ottawa. In the following days, some of the protesters left the area, but others remained there. An attempt was made to enter the Legislative Assembly building, but it was stopped by police.
In New Zealand, vaccination against covid is mandatory for some occupational groups such as firefighters, healthcare, education and prison staff, and the military. Employees who refuse to be vaccinated may be dismissed. A vaccination certificate is also required to enter cafes and restaurants, to go to church and to the gym.
The country of five million people has reported about 10,000 coronavirus infections and 53 COVID-19-related deaths.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called on protesters in Wellington to abide by the rules and leave the area in front of Parliament. She noted that not all of their fellow citizens share their point of view.
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