Press Release by organisers of Freedom Village

Press Release by organisers of Freedom Village

EXTENSIVE VIDEO EVIDENCE OF ILLEGAL USE OF PEPPER SPRAY BY POLICE AND OTHER VIOLENT ACTS

Full text of Combined Parliament Protest Press Release #2 for 2 March 2022.

Video footage featured by mainstream media and on social channels clearly shows police advancing against protestors, NOT the other way around. No footage shows demonstrators advancing on police.

Yet despite this, police have been filmed by onlookers indiscriminately using pepper spray in ways that are demonstrably illegal. Other video footage of police violently attacking protestors will shock most New Zealanders, see for example the following links:

The pdf attached details relevant highlighted sections of the New Zealand Police’s OC Spray Rules – Version 6, (link to PDF) easily found online via an original Official Information Request (#5014, response #16479). The document indicates the source is the police’s intranet and details that misuse of pepper spray is a “serious disciplinary matter”. Police must immediately be held to account for numerous breaches, including:

  • Spray use must involve minimum risk to the public
  • Spray cannot be used where less forceful means are available (remember the police were pushing into the protestors, not the other way around)
  • Spray should not be used in crowded situations
  • A warning must be given before it is used, including to other people nearby
  • Provide aftercare.

Historically, police have been taken to task by the courts over the way they have illegally used pepper spray in prior incidents, but today have decided they are ‘above the law’ and adopted a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ approach. Their justification? Simply to move some cars, tents and – bizarrely – toilets.

Police continue to assert the protest is illegal. Yet while placing structures on parliament’s grounds breaches a ‘rule’ akin to a local government bylaw, that does not constitute a criminal act – as the situation has deliberately been portrayed by the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister also remains complicit in police telling media last week that protestors sprayed a mystery substance – likely acid – at three police officers. The much-awaited toxicology reports they said would identify the substance have never been produced. Suggestions have been made that this was ‘friendly-fire’ from police accidentally spraying themselves. However it does not suit police or the Prime Minister to admit they not only made a mistake, they used false allegations to smear the protest’s reputation to maximum effect.

Much has been made during the past few weeks by the Government and police about the violent and abusive actions of a very small number of individual protestors. If New Zealand applied this approach to rugby, each time a referee handed out a red card, they’d then also send the entire team off the field. Each time a mother screamed at the opposing team at a school sportsfield, all parents would be banned from the sidelines.

Now that it’s been proven police have broken the law with their blatant misuse of pepper spray against people who were not threatening them in any way, if we take a leaf out of the Prime Minister’s book, all police present are now guilty of the same offence.

Every reporter that’s attended the protest site over the past few weeks has been witness to how the vast majority of protestors are there peacefully, yet that is the opposite of what’s been reported. Now that we have provided them with shocking examples of police literally beating up protestors we hope this evidence results in equivalent blanket media coverage.

New Zealanders should not have had to resort to social media channels to discover the true picture of what is happening in Wellington.

***End of Press Release^^^

This communication summarises the agreed position of groups representing the majority people who have supported, travelled and stayed at Parliament over the past two weeks:

  • Convoy 2022 NZ
  • Freedom Alliance
  • New Zealand Doctors Speaking Out with Science
  • New Zealand Teachers Speaking Out with Science
  • Outdoors & Freedom Movement
  • The Freedom and Rights Coalition
  • The Hood NZ.
  • Voices for Freedom.

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