Police arrest two anti-lockdown leaders across Australia, New Zealand
- New Zealand police on Tuesday arrested 19 people for protesting
- They defied stay-at-home orders
- Australia and New Zealand have imposed lockdown after surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant
Two leaders, spearheading an anti-lockdown movement, have been arrested in Australia and New Zealand in separate incidents, on Tuesday for defying stay-at-home orders in both countries, reports The Guardian.
New Zealand police on Tuesday arrested 19 people during as a series of “small” demonstrations outside government and local council buildings. The police also arrested Karen Brewer, an Australian-born conspiracy theorist, who is known to push a series of fringe and baseless ideas throughout the pandemic.
In a separate arrest on Tuesday afternoon, Monica Smit, the founder of the anti-lockdown group Reignite Democracy Australia, was arrested while driving in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton. Smit had not been charged at the time of publication and Victoria police did not respond to questions about the reasons for her arrest.
In Australia, a protest organised around the #IStandWithTruckies slogan appeared to fail on Tuesday, with only a smattering of reports of truck drivers involved. But a number of protests were recorded outside government buildings.
Australia and New Zealand have imposed lockdown after surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta Variant.
In New Zealand, the level 4 lockdown will be lifted on Wednesday, excluding Auckland. Auckland is the epicentre of COVID-19 cases and the first case of Delta variant was reported in the city two weeks ago. New Zealand was COVID free for six months.
In Australia, authorities on Monday announced that the lockdown in Melbourne will be extended. Earlier, the four-week lockdown was supposed to end on Thursday. However, state premier Dan Andrews said it would no longer be possible as the case numbers rose by 92 overnight.
The lockdown marks 6th in the row and includes a curfew, limits in exercise and closure of playgrounds.
New South Wales state, which includes Australia's most populous city of Sydney, reported 1,218 new cases on Sunday, reaching a record high of the daily caseload.