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Five arrests at Parliament protest

Five arrests at Parliament protest

News Release, 16:31, 10 March 2003

Five people were arrested for minor disorder offences as Australian Prime Minister John Howard left Parliament this afternoon.

They were being processed late this afternoon at Wellington Central Police Station.

Superintendent John Kelly, Wellington Police District Commander, said the arrests were made shortly after an object was thrown in the direction of Mr Howard’s motorcade. The car was not hit.

About 500 people took part in the lunchtime protest, although many had dispersed before Mr Howard left Parliament shortly before 3pm. Several tomatoes had been thrown onto the main Parliament Building steps earlier in the afternoon but police were generally happy with the way the operation went.

"There was a small flare up towards the end when protesters split their resources and signalled an intention to block Museum Street and the main Molesworth Street entrance," Mr Kelly said.

"Mr Howard’s motorcade left without any problems although some of the crowd were a bit vocal as arrests were being made around the lower gate."

Mr Kelly confirmed that an ambassador leaving the official lunch had been accidentally knocked to the ground while an officer was chasing a protester he was trying to arrest.

"The ambassador has been treated for grazes. One of my senior officers is visiting him this afternoon to offer our sincere apologies for what was an unfortunate accident."

Police also want to thank a young woman walking up Molesworth Street who saw officers chasing the offender and shoulder tapped him, tripping him to the ground. The woman left before police could get her details and thank her in person.


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