Live: Covid-19 protesters camped at Parliament warned they could be trespassed

Live: Covid-19 protesters camped at Parliament warned they could be trespassed

More than 50 police have formed a ring around the front of Parliament edging up to a line of protesters who have linked arms lining up in front of the cenotaph.

Radio New Zealand,

9 February, 2022

 

One person speaking said he would walk up the Parliament steps at 3pm and get arrested, inviting others in the crowd to join, saying “see you at 3pm” to cheers from the crowd.

The group is part of a convoy which travelled to the capital yesterday to protest against Covid-19 vaccine mandates.

About 1000 people and hundreds of vehicle converged on Parliament grounds yesterday, and at least 100 people camped overnight.

Feb 9, 2022 12:00 PM
RNZ Live
  • About 60 police officers have formed a ring, behind security barriers around the forecourt, in a stand off with protestors.
  • A few hundred people and more than a dozen tents remain on the front lawn, in breach of Parliament’s rules.
  • People were issued with notices last night and today laying out the rules and what would happen if they continue to break the rules on no camping overnight on Parliament grounds.
  • One speaker has just told the protest he intends to walk up the front steps of Parliament and get arrested at 3 o’clock, inviting others to join him – met by cheers from the crowd.
  • The bottom of Molesworth street by Parliament and some side streets remain blocked off to other traffic.

BBQs and generator being fired up

A kitchen tent is dishing out food to hungry protesters camped out at Parliament complaining about vaccination mandates and certificates.

About 500 people are waving flags and listening to speeches on the grounds, where about 100 tents were pitched last night – against the rules.

On Molesworth Street, which blocked by dozens of trucks and other vehicles, there are queues for BBQ sausages and coffee, and a generator is being fired up.

One woman, who did not want to be named, says it is a good atmosphere:

“I’ve been here for a few days, everyone’s getting fed, everyone’s really peaceful. No one’s causing any trouble to anyone.

“Have some lunch, do some face painting, talk to people, give them some moral support and just some mental health support – there’s lots of people here who really need it.”

The protesters are calling for politicians to come out of Parliament and listen to them.

Feb 9, 2022 12:14 PM
RNZ Live

The story so far….

About 60 police officers have formed a ring in front of the steps at Parliament, with security barriers around the forecourt, in a standoff with protesters.
One person speaking said he would walk up the Parliament steps at 3pm and get arrested, inviting others in the crowd to join, saying “see you at 3pm” to cheers from the crowd.
The group is part of a convoy which travelled to the capital yesterday to protest against Covid-19 vaccine mandates.
Steel barriers have been put up in front of the protesters.
The crowd was still largely peaceful but some were heckling police and the temperature was starting to rise.
Protesters who spent the night camped on Parliament grounds have been warned they could be issued with a trespass notice.
Trucks and other vehicles are blocking Molesworth Street, and campers also set up in the grounds of the law school at the old Parliament building over the road.
Police issued a statement late last night saying they were monitoring the situation and were talking with Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard.
Protesters have been given a letter from the Speaker setting out Parliament’s rules, which prohibit staying overnight on the grounds and ban tents or other structures.
Specific policies mentioned in the letter include leaving the grounds in an orderly manner and not interfering with traffic.
“Participants must assemble within and disperse from the grounds in an orderly manner, and so as to not interfere with the flow of vehicular traffic.”
It also mentions that tents and structures are banned from the grounds.
“No erection of tents or any structure is permitted other than hand held signs … structures including tents as mentioned above are not permitted and if not removed when requested, are liable for confiscation.”
It said if the rules were breached people could be trespassed and their equipment confiscated.
“In line with these existing policies, please disassemble any tents or structures and remove them from the grounds. Do not continue protests or demonstrations on the grounds after dark. The breach of the above policies and failure to carry out the actions may result in trespass notices being issued.”
There were also campervans parked in nearby streets and police said Molesworth Street in front of Parliament was not accessible to traffic, and drivers should avoid the area this morning.
It was not clear how long the protesters would be allowed to stay.
Wellington City Council was talking with police about their options to deal with cars illegally blocking the roads and footpath near Parliament.
Council spokesperson Richard MacLean said if cars were to be removed there would be resources needed.
He said the council wanted to avoid confrontation but were planning for it should it arise.
Motorists were still being advised to avoid the area if possible.
Feb 9, 2022 12:12 PM
RNZ Live
A sausage sizzle is in full swing with a generator being sorted out.
A sausage sizzle is in full swing with a generator being sorted out. credit: RNZ / Hamish Cardwell
Feb 9, 2022 12:09 PM
RNZ Live
Protesters are camped out on the Parliament lawn. 
Protesters are camped out on the Parliament lawn.  credit: RNZ / Hamish Cardwell
Feb 9, 2022 12:08 PM
RNZ Live
credit: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone
Feb 9, 2022 12:02 PM
RNZ Live

Letter warns protesters breaching rules could be trespassed

Protesters have been given a letter from the Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard, setting out Parliament’s rules which prohibit staying overnight on the grounds and ban tents or other structures.
Specific policies mentioned in the letter include leaving the grounds in an orderly manner and not interfering with traffic.
“Participants must assemble within and disperse from the grounds in an orderly manner, and so as to not interfere with the flow of vehicular traffic.”
It also mentions that tents and structures are banned from the grounds.
“No erection of tents or any structure is permitted other than hand held signs … structures including tents as mentioned above are not permitted and if not removed when requested, are liable for confiscation.”
It said if the rules were breached people could be trespassed and their equipment confiscated.
“In line with these existing policies, please disassemble any tents or structures and remove them from the grounds. Do not continue protests or demonstrations on the grounds after dark. The breach of the above policies and failure to carry out the actions may result in trespass notices being issued.”
Police issued a statement late last night saying they were monitoring the situation and talking with Speaker.

 

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