Covid 19 Delta: Thousands at Auckland lockdown protest, Brian Tamaki speaks, police keep distance
Police have announced they plan to prosecute numerous people who organised today’s anti-lockdown protest in Auckland Domain which drew a crowd of thousands.
There are an estimated 2000-plus people tightly congregated on an Auckland Domain field – many without masks.
Police officers are observing the rally today – some on the edge of the protest and others from a distance.
The protest comes on the same day as the Government is making its vaccine push in the national Super Saturday campaign.
Auckland City District Commander superintendent Shanan Gray said the gathering of around 2000 people at the Auckland Domain was in breach of alert level 3 restrictions, which limits gatherings to weddings, funerals and tangihanga with no more than 10 people.
“While those in attendance generally conducted themselves in a calm manner and adhered to rules around mask wearing and distancing between smaller separate bubbles, the gathering was by its very nature a significant breach of Covid-19 alert level 3 requirements,” Gray said.
“No arrests were made today. However, police confirm that they will be taking prosecution action against a number of individual organisers in the coming days.Police will provide updates when available.”
While speakers are pushing the case for freedom from alert level restrictions, one pro-vaccination supporter made the day’s most innovative move.
Above Auckland Domain was a light aircraft with a banner to counter the freedom protest reading “Love NZ – Get Your Jab Bro”.
Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki was speaking at midday at today’s Auckland rally announcing he was the person arrested last week over a previous protest on October 2 in the Domain he helped organised.
Tamaki said today he’s ashamed of the Government keeping people hostage in their homes.
It is the second time protesters have gathered at Auckland Domain in a matter of weeks, after Tamaki also organised a gathering on October 2 that drew around 2000 people.
That protest led to Tamaki being charged with breaking the Health Act.
There is also a large presence of motorcycles near the steps of the Auckland War Memorial Museum today.
A witness to today’s Auckland protest says it is more boisterous and generating more crowd support than the one two weeks ago and speakers are saying they won’t back down.
Police last night said they were aware of the planned event.
“Police will be monitoring the situation on the day and responding accordingly.
Police recognise and respect people’s lawful right to protest – however will continue to encourage people to adhere to the alert level restrictions,” police said in a statement.
“Those who deliberately breach alert level restrictions can expect that police will move to enforcement.
“Police do have the ability to take enforcement action for those found to be breaching the restrictions currently in place, and those responsible for organising such protests may be prosecuted.”
More than 1000 people have also gathered at Kensington Park in Whangārei for another anti-vax FreedomNZ protest.
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