Canada’s truck protest mimicked by another nation (VIDEO)
A convoy of trucks, cars and camper vans has blocked the streets around New Zealand’s parliament building in the nation’s capital of Wellington on Tuesday. Hundreds of people turned out to protest against the government’s Covid-19 restrictions, which have included mask mandates and compulsory vaccinations for certain professions.
The area around the parliament building, also known as The Beehive, has been jammed by trucks and cars plastered with messages reading “Give us back our freedom,” and “Coercion is not consent.” Some of the vehicles also had “Stop the mandate” written on them.
Under existing rules, people working in the fields of health, law enforcement, education, and defense have to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
The action mimics a continuous truck protest in Canada’s capital of Ottawa, where anti-lockdown demonstrators have paralyzed traffic in the area around Parliament Hill for more than a week. Last Sunday, the city declared a state of emergency, accusing the truckers of “siege” and “insurrection.”
The move is a part of a massive demonstration held in Wellington on Tuesday, which was also attended by hundreds of protesters who traveled on foot. The demonstrators gathered in front of the parliament building, demanding more “freedom.”
The protesters oppose mask mandates, which apply to public places and in schools for students aged eight or older. They waved national flags and held placards reading “Freedom.” Some of them also showed solidarity with similar protests in Canada by bringing Canadian flags.
VIDEO: A convoy of trucks and campervans blocked streets near New Zealand's parliament in Wellington Tuesday to protest against Covid restrictions and vaccinations, inspired by a similar demonstration in Canada pic.twitter.com/cbcZMI34LL— AFP News Agency (@AFP) February 8, 2022
The police said the rally was peaceful, adding that no arrests were made. They also asked protesters to move their cars away before the evening rush hour. Wellington City Council indicated that it would not issue tickets or order the vehicle owners to move their cars as it said that it would not want to put its staff “in harm’s way.”
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern decided not to meet with the protesters or enter into any discussions with them as she argued that most New Zealanders supported her government’s measures. Apart from mandatory vaccination for certain professions, New Zealand also introduced a health pass system for restaurants, sports events and religious services.
🇳🇿 New Zealand - Wellington [Feb 8, 2022]Thousands of Kiwis standing up to end all mandates outside New Zealand’s parliament house in Wellington#Convoy2022NZ#NoVaccinePassports#NoGreenPass#NoAlPaseSanitario#NonAuPassVaccinal#Freedomrally#GeenQR#FreedomConvoy2022pic.twitter.com/TGj36zjOk1— 🏛️ BMedia 🇳🇱📵 (@BananaMediaQ) February 8, 2022
People there do not need proof of vaccination to use public transport or access supermarkets, schools or health services. Last week, Ardern vowed to start gradually lifting quarantine requirements for incoming travelers and also promised not to impose any more lockdowns.
Around 77% of New Zealand’s population of approximately five million people are currently fully vaccinated.