WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Some countries might send in a riot squad to disperse trespassing protesters. In New Zealand, authorities turned on the sprinklers and Barry Manilow.
Initial moves to try and flush out several hundred protesters who have been camped on Parliament’s grassy grounds since Tuesday had little effect.
The protesters, who have been voicing their opposition to coronavirus vaccine mandates, responded to the soaking from the sprinklers by digging trenches and installing makeshift drainpipes to divert the water.
When a downpour hit Saturday, their numbers only grew. Protesters brought in bales of straw, which they scattered on the increasingly sodden grounds at Parliament. Some shouted, others danced and one group performed an Indigenous Maori haka.
By evening, Parliament Speaker Trevor Mallard had come up with a new plan to make the protesters uncomfortable: using a sound system to blast out vaccine messages, decades-old Barry Manilow songs and the 1990s earworm hit “Macarena” on a repeat loop.
New Zealand tries old earworm hits to flush out protesters | AP NewsNew Zealand tries old earworm hits to flush out protesters | AP News