by Don Franks
The bottom half of Molesworth Street, Bunny Street, the Cenotaph and one side of bottom Lambton Quay are owned by the Freedom 22 protesters. Their weapon of occupation is vehicles. Huge long-haul trucks, flatbed trucks, cars, buses, caravans, vans and camper vans are parked tightly together on the roads.
Slogans, for freedom, against compulsory vaccination and against the prime minister are painted on the sides of almost every conveyance. This mass use of vehicles affords the demonstration a feeling of strength and power. Failing the vehicle owners’ consent, it will take some effort to dislodge this occupation.
The occupied streets are fitted out with busy tented kitchen areas and portaloos. People mill about carrying flags, the New Zealand flag mostly, many of those upside down. There are also a lot of Maori Independence and a few Tino Rangatiratanga flags. The occupied area is orderly and tidy, its atmosphere at the moment is peaceful. The protesters are of all ages, quite a few parents have brought their children along. There’s a feeling of common purpose. Overall, the atmosphere is similar to a large well organised industrial picket.