Police set up concrete barriers during a protest in Parliament

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A confrontation between police and protesters unfolded near Parliament early Monday morning, the 14th day of the anti-warrant protest.

Dozens of police lined up against protesters in Molesworth Street in central Wellington.

Some demonstrators chanted “freedom”.

The police brought in lorries with concrete barriers which were placed at the Molesworth Street entrance.

“A police traffic management operation is currently underway in the City of Wellington near the protest area,” police said in a statement.

“Commuters are advised to expect vehicle-only road closures near Parliament and to consider alternative travel routes. The station remains open. Pedestrian traffic is unaffected.”

Speaking over breakfast on Monday, Wellington Mayor Andy Foster said of the concrete barriers: “The idea is to prevent more vehicles from entering the area.”

“Wellingtonians want our streets back.

“This is a physical limitation of the spread of the protest zone.”

Foster says the only people who can resolve the situation with the protesters are the police and the government.

It comes after Police Commissioner Andrew Coster said on Sunday he would focus on de-escalation to resolve the protests.

Later on Sunday, a police spokesperson said protesters around Parliament who intimidated or abused members of the public “can expect to be arrested, deported and face charges”.

The spokesman said the police presence around Parliament, particularly at the start and end of each school and working day, would be increased.

They said patrols of local businesses had also been increased.

“Police continue to prioritize maintaining the security of Parliament, the courts and the nearby university campus to allow normal services to continue.”

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