Social media users praise police for calm response to anti-COVID vaccine mandate protests

  • 10/02/2022

Police officers in Wellington are being praised for their "exemplary response" while dealing with angry anti-COVID vaccine mandate protesters refusing to leave Parliament grounds.

Dozens of protesters, who arrived at Parliament on Tuesday from different parts of New Zealand as part of a "freedom" convoy, were arrested on Thursday as tensions reached boiling point and the demonstrators clashed with police.

Tensions rose on Thursday morning after protesters were asked to remove their tents and leave Parliament's grounds.

Police officers have created a barricade to stop protesters from getting close to the Beehive.

Video footage taken on Thursday shows officers arresting multiple unmasked protesters.

Earlier on Thursday, some protesters shoved police officers and tried to push them out of the way. Others tried to surge against officers and push through barricades, but police held their ground.

Many yelled "shame on you" at officers, while others yelled that children should be banned from getting the vaccine.

Protesters also threw water on police as they tried to push their way through the barricade.

While some protesters were arrested and taken away, some tried to resist. One person dragged their feet and attempted to squirm out of the officers' grips, while another woman was arrested wearing only a g-string.

One injured officer was seen being taken away.

Social media users praise police for calm response to anti-COVID vaccine mandate protests
Photo credit: Newshub.

Social media users have been reacting to Thursday's developments, with many praising the police officers for their responses.

"The @nzpolice are doing an exemplary job of peaceful policing," one Twitter user said.

"We really need to add a [#thanksNZpolice] hashtag today, because the police are being so tolerant holding their line whilst having garbage yelled at them," another wrote.

"Not enough words to thank our @nzpolice men and women, [for] standing strong out there, making us feel safe and secure @NZParliament," wrote Labour MP Marja Lubeck.

"I'm proud to live in a country where protests are allowed and also where they are met with a peaceful response from @nzpolice. No riot gear, no batons, no aggression," said another Twitter user.

Wellington District Commander Supt Corrie Parnell has confirmed more than 50 people had been arrested as of 11:30am on Thursday.

"They face charges including trespass and obstruction and will be bailed to appear in court," Parnell said in a statement. "They will also be formally served trespass notices from Parliament Grounds."