Four pro-Palestine protesters arrested for allegedly blocking Christchurch's Lyttleton tunnel

  • 06/02/2024

Pro-Palestine protesters blocked a Christchurch tunnel on Waitangi Day to demonstrate against the nearly four-month-old Israel-Hamas war. 

Four of the group of about 60 protesters were arrested, a police spokesperson said. The protesters were reportedly impeding traffic. 

"The group allegedly blocked the tunnel and were pouring a liquid substance on the road," the spokesperson said. 

"Charges are being considered and the four will be processed in due course."

A social media post about the protest a few days before the demonstration said: "Solidarity with te tangata whenua of New Zealand, we recognise the shared history and ongoing violence of British colonial domination against the indigenous people of Aotearoa and Palestine." 

The protest was organised by the Christchurch wing of the Palestine Solidarity Network, the Facebook post suggests. 

"Please come stand in solidarity with us; bring Palestine and Tino Rangatiratanga flags or come as you are." 

Israel's war in Gaza against the Hamas militant group, has resulted in the deaths of more than 25,000 Palestinians, according to local health officials. Israel has said Hamas still has 100 hostages taken in an attack on October 7 attack, during which 1200 Israelis died. 

Hamas has been accused of Israel of hiding behind civilians, allegations it denies.