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Police Break Up One-Man Anti-Lockdown Protest

by : Poppy Bilderbeck on : 28 Aug 2021 17:33
Police Break Up One-Man Anti-Lockdown ProtestPA

Police just broke up a one-man anti-lockdown protest that was taking place in New Zealand. 

Officers had been alerted to discussions taking place on social media around a potential gathering in central Auckland.

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However, on Friday, August 27, when New Zealand police attended the location of the potential gathering on Queen Street, only one man had turned up for the event.

 People and public transit buses are visible outside retail stores on Queen Street, a popular shopping street in Auckland, New Zealand, October 10, 2017. -Gado Images/SIPA USA/PA ImagesPA

The man intended to attend the protest, but expected a few others to join him. A spokesman said: ‘Police spoke to the individual who was encouraged to comply with alert level four restrictions and chose to leave.’

On Friday, a conspiracy theory Instagram account called on people ‘who see the bigger picture’ to get involved in the protest, The Guardian reports.

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However, the account claimed to not be involved in the protest and said that it had no idea who had organised it. The post was captioned: ‘enough is enough’.

 New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern holds a map of New Zealand during a COVID-19 update press conference in Wellington, New Zealand, Monday, Aug. 23, 2021.New Zealand's government on Monday said it was extending a strict nationwide lockdown until at least Friday as it tries to extinguish a growing coronavirus outbreak -Robert Kitchin/AP/Press Association ImagesPA

The social media post went on to criticise the country’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern and the government, claiming that they had ‘destroy[ed] the economy’ and ‘destroy[ed] jobs’.

It stated: 

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How long will you let her destroy our country. NZ calling all who call NZ home – it is time to take a stand! A stand for the future we want. Our NZ.

However, the post was seemingly contradictory in its statement, due to the unemployment rate in New Zealand having dropped to 4% in the June 2021 quarter. Subsequently, New Zealand’s economy has actually handled the coronavirus pandemic much better than anticipated.

Vehicles seen in a queue at an Orchard Rd testing station in Christchurch. As of today, there are 21 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the total to 51 Covid-19 cases in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday placed areas outside Auckland and Coromandel into a further lockdown until 11.59 pm on Tuesday - SOPA Images/SIPA USA/PA ImagesPA

Last week, more than 100 mask-less protestors took to the streets outside the TVNZ buildings to protest against the lockdown, RNZ reports. Police said it was one of three anti-lockdown protests that had taken place across the country that day, with others being reported in Tauranga and Nelson.

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Four people were arrested at the protest in central Auckland, due to breaching the Health Act notice. Four people were also arrested at the protest in Tauranga, from a group of around 20 people. Those in attendance at the Nelson protest dispersed after they were issued 20 verbal warnings by officers.

The country may have previously hit 100 days free from any cases of the virus, but the protests follow the news of New Zealand having just entered into a nationwide lockdown due to a Delta variant outbreak. The country was placed into the highest lockdown level, level four, on Tuesday August 17, due to it being reported that one case of COVID-19 had emerged.

The police have stated that the situation regarding anti-lockdown protests will continue to be monitored.

If you’ve been affected by coronavirus and want up to date advice, visit the Gov.uk help page here. If you need medical help call NHS 111 or visit online.

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Topics: News, Auckland, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand, Now, Protest

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The Guardian and 3 others