In New Zealand, demonstration against health restrictions

The hundreds of trucks that have been laying siege to Canada’s capital for more than ten days are making waves as far as New Zealand. A convoy of trucks and motorhomes blocked the streets around Parliament in Wellington on Tuesday to protest against health measures and vaccination.

Hundreds of vehicles, emblazoned with messages such as “give us back our freedom” and “coercion is not consent”, parked in the streets near the parliament building. Hundreds more drove through the city center honking their horns as more than a thousand people listened to the speeches.

The Prime Minister refuses dialogue

Wellington resident Stu Main said protesters felt their concerns about their rights being rolled back were not being heard by the government. “I am vaccinated but I am against forcing people to do so,” he explained, calling the policy “scandalous”.

The protest remained peaceful and police reported no arrests or major incidents. However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she had no intention of speaking with those who took part in the operation, stressing that the majority of New Zealanders had shown their support for the government’s vaccination programme.

“96% of New Zealanders have been vaccinated, which allows us to live today with fewer restrictions thanks to the additional protection it has given,” she reminded Radio New Zealand.

In New Zealand, vaccination against Covid-19 is compulsory for people working in certain sectors such as health, police, education and defence. A health pass system has come into force, requiring people to prove their vaccination to enter restaurants, take part in sporting events or religious services. On the other hand, it is not compulsory in public transport, supermarkets, schools or to access health services.

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