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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

After police withdrew, the Covid demonstration in New Zealand grew in size

On Tuesday in Wellington, a convoy of vehicles and campervans stopped roadways near the New Zealand parliament building to demonstrate against Covid restrictions and vaccines. The rally was inspired by a similar one held in Canada.

Hundreds of automobiles were stopped in the streets around the parliament building known as The Beehive, with phrases such as “give us back our freedom” and “coercion is not consent” spray-painted on them.

Over 1,000 demonstrators on foot listened to speeches while hundreds of additional cars sped through the city centre with their horns blasting.

Protester Stu Main from Wellington expressed his dissatisfaction with the government’s response to their worries about rights being undermined, according to Main.

“I believe it is disgusting to force vaccination on those who do not choose to get vaccinated.”

The rally remained calm, with no arrests or serious incidents reported by the police department.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that she had no intention of engaging in conversations with convoy participants, claiming that the vast majority of New Zealanders had shown support for the government’s vaccination programme in a recent survey.

In her interview with Radio New Zealand, she said that 96% of New Zealanders have gone out and had a vaccination, which has allowed them to live with less constraints as a result of the additional protection that has been offered by the vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccines are required for those who work in particular areas in New Zealand, including as health, law enforcement, education, and defence, among other occupations.

Additionally, a permit system is in effect, with persons forced to produce evidence of vaccination in order to access restaurants, sporting events, and religious services.

It is not necessary for public transportation, stores, schools, or the use of health-care facilities in most cases.

The Canadian flag was carried by many of the demonstrators in Wellington, including one expatriate called Billy, who refused to reveal his last name due to privacy concerns.

“I’m simply here to support my brothers in Canada who are fighting for their freedom over there,” he said.

A convoy of trucks known as the “Freedom Convoy” has snarled traffic in the Canadian capital of Ottawa for more than a week, leading municipal officials to proclaim a state of emergency.

The convoy’s organisers have not said how long they want to leave their vehicles parked in the city of Wellington.

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