Police made 11 arrests today after protesters reneged on an agreement not to march over the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Police had previously been made aware the protest group planned to cross the Harbour Bridge on foot.
“We engaged with this group prior to today, and this morning, strongly warning them it was too dangerous and disruptive to do this,” says Waitematā District Commander Superintendent Naila Hassan.
“We clearly advised the group of the consequences if they did so, and they agreed to proceed in a convoy of vehicles across the Bridge instead.”
The procession of protesters’ vehicles made their way from Onepoto Domain, where they had initially congregated this morning, to the Harbour Bridge.
“Police staff surrounded the convoy to ensure other motorists weren’t impeded or put at undue risk, and to ensure their behaviour was not unlawful,” says Superintendent Hassan.
“Unfortunately, the group has gone back on their agreement while travelling across the Bridge. A number of the vehicles stopped on the Bridge, occupants got out and started walking away.”
Given the significant number of Police staff present, 11 people were swiftly arrested, before harm came to them or anyone else.
“This was extremely dangerous, selfish behaviour that risked their own lives and other road users, particularly with the extremely high winds on the bridge.
“Police will not support marches over the bridge, and our focus is always on safety.”
Those arrested are facing charges including obstructing Police, resisting arrest, assaulting Police and driving-related charges.
“We are also now in an investigative phase where we will identify any further unlawful behaviour and will hold those involved to account. We will not tolerate such dangerous behaviour.”
The Harbour Bridge is now clear and traffic is flowing.