Anti-vaccine New Zealand parliament protesters vow to stay ‘as long as it takes’

NEW ZEALAND ANTI-VACCINE mandate protesters clashed with police outside parliament today as protesters camped inside the Wellington legislature compound vowed to stay ‘as long as it takes should”.

The protest, which started yesterday as a copy of a ‘Freedom Convoy’ action by Canadian truckers, grew tense as around 100 police officers stood guard on the steps of Parliament.

Most of the vehicles that blocked the streets of central Wellington the day before were gone today, but a hard core of several hundred protesters pitched tents and refused to leave.

Three were arrested after trying to break through the police cordon as supporters chanted “let them through”, but officials said the event remained largely peaceful.

“Police will continue to monitor activities recognizing that people have the right to protest peacefully,” they said.

Aucklander Sel Currie has said he has no intention of leaving the capital.

“We are here as long as it takes,” he said. “It’s very intimidating here today, it looks like the police are trying to incite violence but it won’t come from us.”

A “freedom convoy” of truckers has blocked Canada’s capital Ottawa since late last month, prompting city authorities to declare a state of emergency.

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New Zealand is requiring compulsory Covid vaccinations for people working in sectors including health, law enforcement, education and defence, with those who refuse the shot facing the sack.

Proof of vaccination must also be presented to enter restaurants, sporting events and religious services.

© – AFP, 2022

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