New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday blamed mysterious “imported” forces for the protests against her vaccine mandates that dominate the national capital.
Ardern pointed at Canadian flags and Donald Trump images on the streets of Wellington as evidence for her conspiracy claim.
“It feels like an imported protest to me,” the left-wing Labour leader and former president of the International Union of Socialist Youth confided in an interview.
“I’ve seen Trump flags on the forecourt, I’ve seen Canadian flags on the forecourt,” she told national broadcaster TVNZ, referring to images of former U.S. President Donald Trump allegedly carried by some demonstrators.
Ardern said in a news conference later in the day the protesters have demanded the government remove all public health coronavirus measures.
Hordes of vehicles blocked streets around New Zealand’s Parliament on Tuesday, in a protest mirroring others building around the world demanding an end to coronavirus restrictions and vaccine mandates. https://t.co/haqWykV3IF
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 8, 2022
“That means at the very point where we are seeing an increase in cases and an increase in risk to the public health and well-being of New Zealand, they want to see removed the very measures that have kept us safe, well and alive. You’ll forgive me if I take a very strong view on that suggestion,” Ardern said.
Ardern flagged the thinning patience of authorities.
“I very clearly have a view on the protesters and the way that they’ve conducted their protest because it has moved beyond sharing a view to intimidation and harassment of the people around central Wellington,” she said. “That cannot be tolerated.”
As Breitbart News reported, Parliament Speaker Trevor Mallard tried to make the protesters uncomfortable last week by turning on lawn sprinklers and blasting out decades-old Barry Manilow songs and the 1990s hit “Macarena” on a repeat loop.
Police on Monday told protesters to move their illegally parked vehicles as soon as possible, offering them alternative parking at a nearby stadium.
New Zealand truck protest supporters on Tuesday refused to leave and camped overnight inside the national parliament’s grounds in Wellington – picketing the parliament again Wednesday. https://t.co/8TA5EhmYfJ
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 9, 2022
“Wellingtonians have the right to move freely and safely around the city so all roads being clear is a top priority,” said Superintendent Corrie Parnell, the Wellington district commander.
New Zealand has mandated that certain workers get vaccinated against COVID-19, including teachers, doctors, nurses, police and military personnel. A vaccine pass is also required to enter most stores and restaurants.
AP contributed to this story
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