ZB

Another occupation? Second parliament protest threatened to start Friday

Author
Sophie Trigger, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 30 Mar 2022, 11:04am
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Another occupation? Second parliament protest threatened to start Friday

Author
Sophie Trigger, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Wed, 30 Mar 2022, 11:04am

Police have confirmed they are planning for the possibility of a second protest at Parliament next month. 

A police operation brought a 23-day demonstration to an end this month, after anti-mandate protesters gridlocked central Wellington streets and constructed a tent occupation on Parliament's lawn. 

Protesters were able to easily put up tents and illegally park cars on Tuesday, February 8, even though they had openly discussed their plans online over Waitangi Weekend. 

A website entitled "Unite" indicates it is planning 14 days of protest action in the capital, beginning at 9am on Friday, April 1. 

Organisers said they would provide details closer to the event start date "to minimise the chance of interference". 

A police spokesperson said they were aware of the online talk. 

"Wellington District staff are working to determine the credibility of the information and plan for any possible gatherings or activity. 

"Any behaviour that is deemed unlawful or disrupts people from going about their lawful business will not be tolerated." 

The Unite group's website describes themselves as a group of "reasonable, rational, everyday Kiwis" born from the protest at Parliament. 

"Springing from the ashes of parliament lawn with our mana intact, and our cause as important as ever; Unite was formed," reads the website. 

"Unite recognizes that the devastating effects of the Covid-19 response are far reaching and far from over. 

"We need to be vigilant - now, more than ever and surge forward with the momentum, passion and inexhaustible determination that we have amassed together toward unified and measurable goals." 

The 23-day occupation came to a violent end after police moved in on protesters, and a fire was started on Parliament's lawn. 

The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) last week announced they would investigate the policing of the anti-vaccine mandate protests. 

Nearly 1900 complaints had been received - many from individuals who were not present at the protests but had concerns.