The Fort Worth Press - New Zealand protesters burn camp after riot police move in

USD -
AED 3.673019
AFN 70.773788
ALL 93.373578
AMD 387.818602
ANG 1.801532
AOA 854.496773
ARS 908.737296
AUD 1.501175
AWG 1.8
AZN 1.701691
BAM 1.82201
BBD 2.018296
BDT 117.455807
BGN 1.82223
BHD 0.376877
BIF 2872.927147
BMD 1
BND 1.352618
BOB 6.907763
BRL 5.390703
BSD 0.999599
BTN 83.437826
BWP 13.544432
BYN 3.271067
BYR 19600
BZD 2.014943
CAD 1.364515
CDF 2860.000313
CHF 0.89189
CLF 0.034263
CLP 945.42017
CNY 7.258897
CNH 7.277229
COP 4088.5
CRC 522.349127
CUC 1
CUP 26.5
CVE 102.722115
CZK 23.163602
DJF 177.980865
DKK 6.94636
DOP 58.951762
DZD 134.576032
EGP 48.319279
ERN 15
ETB 57.684038
EUR 0.93127
FJD 2.2362
FKP 0.784602
GBP 0.78794
GEL 2.805022
GGP 0.784602
GHS 15.194284
GIP 0.784602
GMD 67.774954
GNF 8605.366126
GTQ 7.766619
GYD 209.133339
HKD 7.806815
HNL 24.726575
HRK 7.018438
HTG 132.506661
HUF 367.129498
IDR 16375
ILS 3.723855
IMP 0.784602
INR 83.46455
IQD 1310
IRR 42100.000162
ISK 138.859737
JEP 0.784602
JMD 155.838348
JOD 0.7087
JPY 159.380498
KES 129.449832
KGS 86.693503
KHR 4117.833386
KMF 459.250243
KPW 900.000131
KRW 1387.375014
KWD 0.30663
KYD 0.833093
KZT 465.719476
LAK 21983.509573
LBP 89521.870778
LKR 305.212652
LRD 194.022899
LSL 18.127451
LTL 2.95274
LVL 0.60489
LYD 4.855022
MAD 9.930153
MDL 17.904691
MGA 4478.209834
MKD 57.30986
MMK 3247.960992
MNT 3450.000098
MOP 8.038717
MRU 39.349869
MUR 46.999859
MVR 13.0415
MWK 1732.999815
MXN 17.913304
MYR 4.708501
MZN 63.69504
NAD 18.127451
NGN 1530.890285
NIO 36.798957
NOK 10.535195
NPR 133.503195
NZD 1.632935
OMR 0.384944
PAB 0.999599
PEN 3.803017
PGK 3.898754
PHP 58.703996
PKR 278.49532
PLN 3.99615
PYG 7529.135575
QAR 3.638987
RON 4.6355
RSD 109.037991
RUB 87.992643
RWF 1315
SAR 3.751386
SBD 8.454445
SCR 13.686113
SDG 601.000257
SEK 10.470362
SGD 1.35191
SHP 1.26345
SLE 22.847303
SLL 20969.501917
SOS 571.000263
SRD 30.665505
STD 20697.981008
SVC 8.74738
SYP 2512.530426
SZL 18.121349
THB 36.581032
TJS 10.705868
TMT 3.5
TND 3.134974
TOP 2.360299
TRY 32.935803
TTD 6.79182
TWD 32.3965
TZS 2624.999915
UAH 40.58309
UGX 3738.48318
UYU 39.471233
UZS 12620.350746
VEF 3622552.534434
VES 36.326846
VND 25447.5
VUV 118.721975
WST 2.800615
XAF 611.090719
XAG 0.033926
XAU 0.00043
XCD 2.70255
XDR 0.760187
XOF 611.085027
XPF 111.550062
YER 250.349782
ZAR 18.105102
ZMK 9001.201169
ZMW 25.465098
ZWL 321.999592
  • RIO

    0.0500

    66.45

    +0.08%

  • BTI

    0.6600

    32.36

    +2.04%

  • RBGPF

    0.0000

    56.5

    0%

  • CMSC

    0.0600

    24.5

    +0.24%

  • CMSD

    0.0500

    24.22

    +0.21%

  • BCC

    -0.8300

    121.58

    -0.68%

  • SCS

    0.4100

    13.7

    +2.99%

  • RELX

    0.2400

    45.84

    +0.52%

  • NGG

    0.3000

    57.43

    +0.52%

  • BP

    0.7400

    36.25

    +2.04%

  • GSK

    0.0700

    40.55

    +0.17%

  • BCE

    0.6400

    33.24

    +1.93%

  • JRI

    0.0100

    12.01

    +0.08%

  • RYCEF

    -0.0800

    5.95

    -1.34%

  • AZN

    0.4900

    79.37

    +0.62%

  • VOD

    0.1000

    9.15

    +1.09%

New Zealand protesters burn camp after riot police move in
New Zealand protesters burn camp after riot police move in

New Zealand protesters burn camp after riot police move in

New Zealand anti-vaccination demonstrators set alight their own protest camp outside parliament Wednesday after riot police moved to end their weeks-long occupation of the legislative precinct.

Text size:

Police abandoned their light-touch approach, with hundreds of officers using perspex shields, pepper spray and water jets to force back protesters, who responded by hurling bottles, bricks and paint bombs.

When it became clear police were winning control of the makeshift tent city that sprang up on parliament's lawns three weeks ago, the demonstrators torched it themselves.

"This is not over," one man yelled, while others chanted "Shame on you" at advancing officers as a thick pall of black smoke enveloped the area.

Police deployed an ear-splitting sonic cannon and high-pressure water hoses to help disperse the crowd, although a few dozen regrouped and fought running battles with police on nearby streets into the evening.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern backed the force's tough tactics, angrily denouncing the violence as a "desecration" of parliament's grounds.

"It was an attack on our frontline police, it was an attack on our parliament, it was an attack on our values, and it was wrong," she told reporters in parliament as rioting continued a few hundred metres (yards) away.

She said what began as a movement against coronavirus vaccine mandates -- inspired by similar protests in Canada -- had turned toxic and the demonstrators' conduct was "disgraceful".

Ardern said the protesters represented a small group whose extremism was fuelled by conspiracy theories and misinformation.

"We have a difficult journey in front of us, to address the underlying cause of what we have seen here today -- but in doing so, we will never, ever excuse it," she said.

- 'It needs to end' -

Police launched a pre-dawn push to clear roads around the legislature, using a large forklift truck to remove cars and campervans that arrived in the capital in a convoy on February 8 and were used to jam downtown streets.

In the afternoon, they turned to the protest's epicentre on the lawns of parliament, where around 3,000 people congregated at the height of the demonstration about two weeks ago.

Numbers have since dwindled to a hard core of about 300 who police commissioner Andrew Coster said had shown a willingness to use violence not shared by legitimate demonstrators.

"We've seen tactics (from protesters) today including spraying fire extinguishers at the police line, the throwing of paint, early on we saw weapons," he said.

He said police were not seeking confrontation but added: "This protest has now tipped over a balance and it now needs to end."

At least three officers were hospitalised with "non-life threatening" injuries in the operation to clear the parliamentary precinct, which left a few dozen angry protesters milling on nearby streets hurling stones.

The show of force came after vocal criticism from Wellington locals about the hands-off approach previously adopted towards the demonstrators.

Residents have complained about being abused by anti-vax activists for wearing masks, while schools and businesses close to the camp have closed for safety reasons.

In recent weeks, police have accused protesters of hurling human faeces at them, spraying a "stinging substance" at officers and slashing tyres on police cars.

Coster said Wednesday's operation came after efforts to "de-escalate" the situation and end the protest peacefully had stalled.

"We reached the stage where protest leaders were unwilling or unable to effect meaningful change," he said.

M.T.Smith--TFWP