Wow, just... wow. The difference in occupation levels between Monday and Wednesday is unbelievable. And it seems like today has grown again. I might be able to get downtown again Friday afternoon, so am fascinated to see what the weekend will bring.
After what I can only assume was a huge new influx of people, I went down Wednesday evening with my sister and a friend and found a village within a city.
The changing of the guard, plus the obligatory shot over the whole grounds.
While there are still a few spots where you might be able to pitch a tent, if you don't mind a slope, there's not a lot. Tents are pitched along the main driveway now, which was empty before.
Some are sleeping in the trees.
There are so many services available on site now. I saw a barber at work, and a friend who is a hairdresser told us that by the weekend there will be 18 hairdressers on roster, with four seats available at any time.
There are first aid tents, but also an area for natural health practitioners including osteopaths, massage, miri miri, reiki, orthobionomy and more.
There's even a Pilates studio
Tents specifically for children to play, and there are plans for schooling to be started soon.
There was music in three different areas, including just inside the main gates.
The admin tent is much more noticeable now. Some of the admin tasks that have been taken up by volunteers include Laundry Angels who take people's washing off site and return it clean and dry, lists of people offering showers, lists of available accommodation or empty tents that can be used, workshops coming up, availability of legal advice, and more. There are also places to go if you need clothing or other equipment.
As well as the food tents in Molesworth Street, there is the very popular Hare Krishna vegetarian food stall, and just down from them some more tents with barbecue, meat patties and various drinks. There has been a popcorn stand on site since the start, and I hear that today a candy floss cart was brought in for the kids. Not so great for their immunity, but a treat every now again is all good.
By the cenotaph, there was a cacao ceremony to celebrate the full moon, followed by a drumming circle. Sadly, we only came across this at the tail end of the drumming. Hopefully there will be more drumming in future. But in the meantime, I hear the cenotaph area has become another stage. Will check that out tomorrow.
There's a tent manned by Health Forum NZ and NZDSOS where there are testimonials for some of the vax injured, and someone to talk to, if you have been affected.
I found this fascinating. Remember my photo of a camper sweeping outside his tent? That spot is now so much fuller. Here's Monday's photo:
Here's Wednesday's photo:
Some of the stories I've heard over the last two days:
All the political parties are going to work together on the terrible threat caused by the protest. Huh. I could have sworn they were already singing from the same hymn book. What answer has their combined intellect come up with? Oh, here it is: "Every Party in Parliament has signed on to a joint-statement saying they will not talk to the convoy protesters until they stop breaking the law." Excellent, that will solve the problem.
Ardern isn't even going to consider dropping the mandates while the threat of Omicron is so prevalent. After all we have 8147 active cases in the community today.
How many are in hospital, Crime Minister? 63.
How many of those were already there for some other reason? Not reported. Funny that.
How many are in ICU? A big fat zero.
How many deaths? The last death was reported on the 12th January. So that is also a big fat zero in the last 5 weeks.
Oh yes, I can see why that is so scary.
The police are still going to tow away all those illegally parked vehicles. In the absence of any towies, the army brought in 4 vehicles on Thursday morning. However, they have not yet agreed to use them, and many think the army will be very reluctant to overstep their jurisdiction. We will see, but as of Thursday evening, it's still a bit of a stalemate.
There has been a statement by Ngāti Toa that their offices, marae and members of the iwi have been the target of intimidating and threatening behaviour in recent times. As Mana Whenua of Wellington, they are not unsympathetic to the plight of many at the protest, but are alarmed by some of the behaviours being reported. They support and encourage the New Zealand Government, the Wellington City Council and the NZ Police to clear the roads of Wellington and to protect all those who have been and continue to be threatened, intimidated and victimised.
On the other hand, there are also reports that Ngati Tama are the owners of the land and have issued a trespass notice against the government. Again, we wait to see how this plays out.
As part of this, there are those in the protest who think this includes police, and any time any try to enter the grounds they are being blocked from entry and told they are trespassing. I can understand why they feel that way, but I also think that there are many good cops. We want them onside and I'm not convinced that this is a good tactic, for police relations or public relations.
Another report I heard was that police attempted to block access to the site, to stop the portaloo company from emptying the units, and to stop the food trucks from entering. Upon being told that the results of that action would be 20 people being sent to each of 20 locations in the city, to lie down in the middle of an intersection, they changed their minds. Not sure if this is true or not. If it is, it would support the view of those who don't trust the police. I still like to think there are many who are on our side, so let's just take this as an entertaining story for now. Time will tell.
Of more concern are reports that staff at New World in Molesworth Street and Countdown Cable Car lane are feeling harassed by the number of people coming in without masks and making them feel unsafe. They are saying that the spirit of peace does not extend to places outside the grounds. Last week Countdown reported 45 cases of harm to their workers, 21 serious. It was inferred, but not stated, that this was due to the protest. If this is true, it's not acceptable. As they say, if we want our freedom, they also deserve respect for their views. But let's not forget that MSM are experts at saying things that are technically true but give an impression that isn't. It seems weird to me that so many would be going to these supermarkets, especially as far away as Cable Car Lane, when there is so much provided free on site. Maybe I'll wander up there tomorrow and have a chat with some of the staff...
Last but not least, yesterday it was reported that National had lodged a vote of No Confidence against Trevor Mallard as the Speaker. But there have been no further reports today, so not sure what will happen with that either.
A recent post from Gary Moller: https://www.garymoller.com/post/the-freedom-village-how-good-prevails-over-evil
I have to say, Gary, your photos are gorgeous and leave mine in the dust!
My previous posts:
Day 1 - https://www.proofofbrain.blog/vyb/@kiwideb/convoy-nz-2022-day-1
Days 2 & 3 - https://www.proofofbrain.blog/vyb/@kiwideb/convoy-nz-2022-days-2
Day 4 - https://www.proofofbrain.blog/vyb/@kiwideb/convoy-nz-2022-day-4
Day 5 - https://www.proofofbrain.blog/vyb/@kiwideb/convoy-nz-2022-day-5
Day 6 - https://www.proofofbrain.blog/vyb/@kiwideb/convey-nz-2022-day-6
Day 7 - https://www.proofofbrain.blog/vyb/@kiwideb/convoy-nz-2022-day-7
Day 8 - https://www.proofofbrain.blog/vyb/@kiwideb/convoy-nz-2022-day-8