New Zealand police confront anti-COVID-19 mandate protesters outside parliament

New Zealand police moved in on Wednesday to end an anti-vaccine mandate protest that has disrupted the country's capital for the past three weeks, towing away cars and dismantling tents set up outside parliament.

Taking inspiration from trucker protests in Canada, hundreds of demonstrators have been blocking streets with trucks, cars and motorcycles, in a protest that has led to violent clashes. Police said 60 people were arrested during Wednesday's operation and they had "gained significant ground" in efforts to clear the protesters. At least three officers were injured, police said.

Protesters used fire extinguishers, paint-filled projectiles, homemade plywood shields and pitchforks as weapons and a cord was set up as a trip wire, police said. Social media footage showed protesters throwing full water bottles and shouting abuse at the police. Authorities used loudspeakers to warn protesters they face arrest for trespassing on parliament grounds if they refuse to leave. Pepper spray was used against some protesters.

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