Parliament protest ends without arrests or incidents

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  • The protest ended around 1:40 p.m. with protesters ordered to return home safely
  • Police confirmed protesters marched through Wellington’s central business district without incident
  • The 2,000-person march was greeted by nearly 500 counter-protesters stationed at the Cenotaph
  • No arrests or trespass orders have been

The protest on the Parliament grounds ended with around 1,500 protesters slowly dispersing from the Parliament lawn after being ordered to return home safely shortly before 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Wellington District Commander Superintendent Corrie Parnell said he was pleased with the behavior of protesters, counter-protesters and the public.

No issues were reported and no arrests or trespass orders were issued.

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“We are very happy with the way people behaved,” he said, adding that the positive outcome was the result of careful planning and clear communication with protest and counter leaders. -demonstrations.

Police estimated the anti-government protest, led by Brian Tamaki, had reached a total of 1,500 people.

Road closures would remain in place until 6 p.m. Tuesday and police would continue to maintain a visible presence to reassure local residents, businesses and people in the area.

Sunny conditions greeted protesters on the grounds of Parliament on Tuesday afternoon.

Hanna McCallum / Stuff

Sunny conditions greeted protesters on the grounds of Parliament on Tuesday afternoon.

Anti-government protesters took advantage of sunny weather and a variety of speakers on the grounds of Parliament after marching through the central business district from Te Ngākau Civic Square. Around 3 p.m., a small group of about 50 people still lingered.

Wellington City Council estimated that nearly 500 counter-protesters had gathered at the Cenotaph to greet the arrival of the group led by Brian Tamaki. The anti-government group arrived to chants of “go home” from the counter-protesters, who played ABBA hits and the gay Village People YMCA anthem.

The police attempted to separate the two groups. And while they exchanged words, the confrontations remained verbal. The counter-protest was led by the Pōneke Anti-Fascist Coalition and had been endorsed by the local branch of the Higher Education Union.

In a statement shortly before 1 p.m., police said protesters marched from Te Ngākau Civic Square to Parliament without incident.

“The community can be reassured that we are actively monitoring this event to ensure that protest activity is carried out in a safe manner for everyone involved, including members of the public, and that disruption is kept to a minimum,” said the police.

About 2,000 anti-government protesters led by Brian Tamaki arrive at Parliament just before midday on Tuesday.

Justin Wong / Stuff

About 2,000 anti-government protesters led by Brian Tamaki arrive at Parliament just before midday on Tuesday.

Ahead of the groups descending on Parliament, country kaitiaki Taranaki Whānui, urged protesters to treat the grounds of Parliament and the people of Wellington with respect.

“We expect these people to come and protest and hand over their kaupapa to the Crown, but do it peacefully and don’t sap the mana of the whenua,” Taranaki Whānui President Kara Puketapu-Dentice said.

Days before the 23-day occupation ended in violent clashes with police, Taranaki Whānui issued a strong call for a peaceful resolution.

“We absolutely respect their right to protest against the Crown, we have done so for 180 years,” he said, adding that he hoped the day’s events would remain peaceful.

Protesters gather in Civic Square ahead of the march on Parliament on Tuesday morning.

Kevin Stent / Stuff

Protesters gather in Civic Square ahead of the march on Parliament on Tuesday morning.

As crowds gathered in Te Ngākau Municipal Square earlier today, police said they would continue to enforce trespassing orders for people who trespassed on parliament premises earlier in the day. the year.

Police said in a statement they would maintain “a high visibility presence” around the city of Wellington on Tuesday.

“Our main mission is to maintain public order and ensure that the public feels safe and free to move around.”

Around 500 counter-protesters gathered to greet the Freedoms & Rights Coalition protesters as they marched onto the grounds of Parliament on Tuesday morning.

Juan Zarama / Stuff

Around 500 counter-protesters gathered to greet the Freedoms & Rights Coalition protesters as they marched onto the grounds of Parliament on Tuesday morning.

Roads closed, commuters warned of disruptions

Police have warned commuters to plan ahead, with the Parliamentary end of Lambton Quay, Lower Molesworth St and Kate Sheppard Pl closed to traffic.

“We expect these protesters to keep their protest legal at all times,” said Wellington District Commander Superintendent Corrie Parnell.

The green barricade limits access to the forecourt of Parliament.

ROBERT KITCHIN/Stuff

The green barricade limits access to the forecourt of Parliament.

Possible additional traffic on commuter routes and route and road closures in the central business district could mean headaches for commuters on Metlink bus and train services.

Buses were diverted from Molesworth St road closures via Bowen Street, Tinakori Road and Hill Street. Passengers on routes 14, 22, 33x, 81, 84, 744, 745 should expect delays.

All buses will be able to access the bus interchange at the station.

Wellington District Commander Corrie Parnell says traffic disruption is likely to be minimal.

Jericho Rock-Archer / Stuff

Wellington District Commander Corrie Parnell says traffic disruption is likely to be minimal.

The authorities take preventive measures

Deputy First Minister and MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson said there had been “significant preparation” to avoid the ugly scenes in February where Wellingtonians were “threatened and abused”.

MONIQUE FORD / TIPS

Deputy Premier and MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson speaks to the media about a planned protest which is due to arrive in Wellington on Tuesday August 23.

Mayor Andy Foster said council did not expect undue disruption after contacting police. He urged residents to be patient and stay calm.

Hāpai Ake town wardens would have an increased presence with Maori wardens, especially outside schools near Parliament, Foster said.

Companies weary of the impact of the protests

Alistair Boyce, the owner of the Backbencher Gastropub opposite Parliament, said local businesses did not want undue disruption to the protest.

“Legal protests are okay and if they break the law then the police must be prepared this time to deal with that,” he said.

Concrete barriers are in place around the doors of Parliament.

ROBERT KITCHIN/Stuff

Concrete barriers are in place around the doors of Parliament.

Grace Xue, the manager of Pita Pit on Lambton Quay, said she was worried, especially as the store was already struggling to find staff.

“We can’t afford any security and we have to stay open for business. But if it’s too dangerous, we’ll close.

Parliament buildings and grounds have been fortified ahead of the protest action scheduled for Tuesday.

ROBERT KITCHIN/Stuff

Parliament buildings and grounds have been fortified ahead of the protest action scheduled for Tuesday.

The Pipitea campus of Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington would remain open during the protest.

Government staff members have been urged to exercise caution. Justice Department Assistant Secretary Tina Wakefield said she was taking police advice on the safety of staff, the judiciary and court attendees.

Court cases would continue as usual.

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