Covid-19 Omicron: Thousands of anti-mandate protesters 'in it for the long haul'

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Covid-19 Omicron: Thousands of anti-mandate protesters 'in it for the long haul'

Thousands of anti-mandate protesters gathered on Parliament’s lawn have said they’re “in for the long haul” and intend to stay for days.

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

Major highways into Wellington were brought to a standstill and the roads around Parliament blocked this morning as hundreds of vehicles flooded into the capital.

The movement – dubbed the Convoy 2022 – has attracted people from all over New Zealand, with hundreds of cars, trucks and motorbikes travelling from both ends of the country to arrive in Wellington this morning.

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The group are protesting against the Government’s ongoing Covid rules and restrictions, including the vaccine mandate introduced last year.

A voices of Freedom spokesperson addressing the crowd at Parliament said they intend to stay for several days.

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“We’re here for the long haul, and at least for a few days, with an opportunity for anyone to speak here between 11am and 1pm,” he said.

“It’s now up to each and every one of you to go back to your towns and cities, and stand up, stand up for freedom.”

Protesters have parked at the bottom of Lambton Quay – blocking traffic heading into Parliament.

Queues along away down the road. pic.twitter.com/UCkv3iRC3K

— Jason Walls (@Jasonwalls92) February 7, 2022

Wellington City Council spokesman Richard MacLean said the council was considering its options.

“We’re obviously going to have to talk to the police about whether any enforcement is practicable, say today or any time soon.

“If we are going to do anything, we’ll obviously need the assistance of the police.”

Both Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National leader Christopher Luxon said they had no intention of engaging with the protesters.

Covid-19 Omicron: Thousands of anti-mandate protesters 'in it for the long haul'

The Freedom Convoy on Parliament's forecourt and lawn in Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The convoy arrived at Parliament earlier today after accidentally splitting into three groups on the state highway down to Wellington.

People involved in the protest have come from both ends of the country – with a convoy of vehicles travelling from Bluff and another convoy coming from Cape Reinga.

Many of the cars have messages scrawled across the sides or windows, including: “They will not control us. We will be victorious.”

Another truck pictured online had the words: “No mandates … f**k off.”

Those organising the convoy protest have described it as a peaceful movement.

“We are fighting for New Zealand’s freedom,” a post on the Convoy 2022 NZ Facebook page read.

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