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9 Feb, 2022 05:32

Protesters arrested trying to pass parliament barricade

Demonstrators called for the resignation of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern while protesting against Covid-19 restrictions
Protesters arrested trying to pass parliament barricade

At least two people were arrested in Wellington, New Zealand on Wednesday after Covid-19 mandate protesters allegedly tried to get past a police barricade outside parliament.

According to local reports, demonstrators tried to walk past the police barricade and onto the steps of parliament at around 3pm, prompting officers to detain at least two people.

Videos of the incident showed a wall of police officers attempting to keep the protesters away from parliament as reinforcements ran to bulk up the barricade. Footage showed one man in sunglasses, shorts, and flip-flops being walked away in handcuffs.

The protesters called for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to step down from her position, while she attempted to minimize the incident in response. Ardern told Newstalk ZB, “I've seen a range of protests over my time and this is certainly not large in scale.”

The prime minister also said the demonstration was “not representative of the vast majority of New Zealanders.”

The country currently requires workers in certain sectors – including health, education, defense, and emergency services – to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The government has also made booster vaccines mandatory and requires New Zealanders to wear medical-grade face masks in indoor public settings.