Defence forum protesters to lay complaints against police

Around a dozen protesters were arrested
Around a dozen protesters were arrested

There were angry scenes in Wellington today as protesters tried to stop people entering a Defence Industry Association Forum.

Those involved in the protests say a defence-related conference should not be being held in New Zealand, particularly in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

Around a dozen protesters were arrested in the demonstrations today, after conference delegates were yelled at and pushed around as they tried to get into TSB Arena.

"People have got a right to protest, [but] people have a right to go about their business as well," says Inspector Terry van Dillen.

The defence forum involved 200 defence-related companies and agencies, including the New Zealand Defence Force.

Protesters singled out Lockheed Martin, known for producing fighter jets and drones, and also expressed anger over the timing of the conference.

"We need to have more peace, we need to stop killing each other - you know, you look around the world, people are dying," says one protester.

"In the wake of Paris and Beirut, now more than ever we need to be saying no to these people."

The demonstrators made it clear the conference shouldn't be held in New Zealand.

"We need to stop having conferences in a city like Wellington where we are peaceful."

Protesters plan to lay complaints against the police involved in today's arrest, but police say they were just doing their job.

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