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.
New Zealand’s prime minister on Monday said protesters who oppose coronavirus mandates were using “intimidation and harassment,” as authorities appeared to take a harsher stance toward the convoy of demonstrators that has disrupted the capital of Wellington for nearly a week, AP reports.
Police initially let the protesters set up tents and camp on the grounds of New Zealand’s Parliament before arresting 122 people on Thursday and then backing off again. The size of the protest dropped to a few hundred last week but increased again to around 3,000 over the weekend.
Speaking with reporters, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern signaled 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.”
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