New Zealand: Freedom Rallies Ramp Up In Response To Vaccine Mandates

Writer: Lois

A protest sign at the Auckland anti-vaccine mandate car rally, October 16, 2021. Photo: GNews

New Zealanders have held numerous freedom rallies this month protesting the Ardern government’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates, and the movement seems to be especially gaining traction amongst the health and education sectors.

The petition “NO VACCINE MANDATES FOR NZ!!!!” on the petitions website Change.org has gained almost 60,000 signatures out of its target of 75,000, a significant number of signatures, considering there are less than 75,000 teachers in total across the state and state-integrated schools of New Zealand.

The anti-vaccine mandate petition page also advertised an October 16 car rally from 12.30 pm to 1 pm, the same day as the second round of nationwide freedom picnics. Cars flooded the city, plastered with signs protesting the Ardern government’s national vaccine coercion strategies.

Protest signs at the Auckland anti-vaccine mandate car rally, October 16, 2021. Photo: GNews
Protest signs at the Auckland anti-vaccine mandate car rally, October 16, 2021. Photo: GNews
The anti-vaccine mandate car rally fills a road in Auckland CBD, October 16, 2021. Photo: GNews

This Wednesday, the activist group Your Choice NZ is planning a nationwide “Mental Health Day”, where 2000 employed NZ citizens take two days off for their mental health. The event is titled “Unite Against The Mandate – Mental Health Day”.

“This has been an incredibly tough time for a lot of us so it’s time to start taking care of you. Even if there was one healthcare worker that responded we would have gone ahead as all of your jobs and livelihoods are valuable in our eyes,” reads the Your Choice NZ Facebook page.

“SO WEDNESDAY EVERYONE TAKE A MENTAL HEALTH DAY AND PUT YOURSELF FIRST! If the mandates don’t affect you directly, take a day to support that person who is affected that you care about or to reach out to those affected. If you were planning on closing your centre’s doors this will just be necessary for the 20th and we encourage you to tell your whānau why,” the post continued.

“We will be doing 1 day only this week and one day down the track after the 30th if the mandate hasn’t already been revoked by then.”

According to the New Zealand Ministry of Health, around 89 per cent of Auckland’s population has received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 experimental vaccine. About 85 per cent of New Zealanders have had their first shot, while 66 per cent have been fully vaccinated.

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