Protesters are now into their third week established at Camp Freedom on the grounds of The Beehive, New Zealand’s parliament house in Wellington. So far the only reported “cases” of Covid have been from across the protest barriers, amongst staff inside The Beehive and police standing guard outside, all complying with mask, vaccine and test mandates.
At a time when New Zealanders were told to only listen to a single source of truth, independent news options have exploded. A brief and entertaining critique of the single source of truth:
“At Weeks End News” shared this 20 minute live coverage of events on the morning of 22 February 2022 at The Beehive in Wellington. Early in the morning police begin to arrive at the location and form a line across a street. Sleeping protesters are alerted and attend the police line. Papers are served to police by Ngati Tama. As this exercise appears to conclude, a car drives from what seems to be halfway up the guarded block, towards and almost into the crowd. Another angle of the event is in the video below.
A mild altercation occurs between the cameraman and another man just before riot police begin to run towards protesters for unknown reasons. Chaos ensues. The only communication appears to come from protesters, shouting “peace”, “stand back”, “we have tamariki here”, “you serve us”, before a chant of “shame on you” begins to emanate from the crowd as they push police back. A squad some metres further up the road stand around casually watching events.
The AtWeeksEnd reporter states “What a coincidence that not more than 30 seconds before this happened, I was attacked by some random clown that threw juice all over my phone and all over me. The odds of that happening by chance? Zero! … What a coincidence there are [media] cameras here, to film this? Like every other set-up we’ve been involved in, the cops came down here and made a scene, and tried to set us up“. Police then appear to depart the scene as quickly as they arrived.
Shane Chafin at Revolution Media reports from the scene a short time after:
Many at the scene are now claiming set-ups by police. For example last night hundreds of police arrived, accompanied by a fork lift and mainstream media crews, to return a concrete block which had been moved out of place. Reporters claim it was staged “just in time for the Six O’Clock News”. An agreement was allegedly made that once the block was returned, police would stand down. Instead of standing down they brought in reinforcements and pulled a young man out of the crowd, pushing him to the ground in an aggressive arrest. Witnesses claimed it was an attempt to incite chaos. Protesters responded by chanting “Love and Peace” and police eventually moved on.
Police claimed via mainstream news reports that protesters threw excrement at them. Protesters deny the claim and have asked for video evidence. Given the amount of video footage being taken it’s hard to believe they can’t provide any. Equally, in another confrontation camera footage appears to show police using pepper spray on the crowd, and three officers walking away rubbing their eyes. Witnesses insist they were injured with their own pepper spray whilst mainstream media have reported they were sprayed with acid.
Leighton Baker: “we need to know the truth, and to do that we need to speak to people on the frontline“. Here he speaks with a paramedic treating protesters at Camp Freedom aka Freetown.
Multiple other sources for New Zealand-specific protest news include CounterspinMedia, FreeNZ with Liz Gunn, and Chantelle Baker live on Facebook.