Five protesters have been arrested after glueing themselves to a busy Wellington road during rush hour traffic this morning.
Police used acetone to unglue the protesters and had to carry each person to a waiting paddy wagon when the protesters refused to walk.
The protesters, aged 56,63,72,45, and 75 will appear in court this afternoon charged with endangering transpirt and breaching court bail conditions.
The last protester to be removed, Jennifer Olsen, was also the last person to be removed from Monday’s protest. She, and the other protesters, had glued their hands to the road to stop police removing them.
She said her secret to remaining stuck was “good strong hands, and really believing in what I’m doing”.
“You know as well as I do we’re in a climate emergency, this is nothing compared to what we will go through. Until the Government makes reasonable change I’m not going to stop.”
The protest, which aims to put pressure on the Government to restore passenger rail services around the country, follows a similar demonstration on Monday, in which four protesters were also arrested and charged.
The group caused havoc in the capital last year with multiple protests in busy road areas around the region, including Transmission Gully and the entrance to the Terrace Tunnel.
Today’s protest began about 8am, with police showing up just moments later.
By 8.45am all the people had been removed from the road.
Traffic backed up down Adelaide Rd, with multiple cars seen executing U-turns and driving back into Newtown.
A member of the public applauded the protesters.
“I love your cause, keep doing it,” they told the group. Other members of the public called the group “morons” and “idiots” and told them to “get out of the road”.
Spokeswoman Rosemary Penwarden told the Herald the group will not apologise for the disruption - but she does understand the frustrations of the public.
“Nobody likes being stuck in traffic and all of our biggest cities, we all know we’re all used to this. It’s horrible having to do that but we do not apologise. Instead, we ask people to just please look at the big picture here, we need to be taking action.”
The group says it will continue to protest until the Government commits to two measures; restore affordable nationwide passenger rail and make local public transport free.
She said the charges faced by four members of the group arrested on Monday for endangering traffic are “ridiculous” but it’s a risk she’s willing to take.
“The risk of what we’re doing, we take wholeheartedly and we accept it, but it’s nothing compared to what’s coming.”
Superintendent Corrie Parnell, Wellington District Commander, said that people must be aware they will face consequences for blocking roads, due to the extremely high risk.
He said the protesters themselves run a high risk of being injured - but also elevate the risk of the wider community.
“Traffic is forced to take evasive action to avoid collision and emergency services may be prohibited from attending emergencies.
“Due to the seriousness of these risks, any protesters impeding traffic can expect that they will be arrested and charged with endangering transport.”
Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau has pleaded with the group to stop the disruption, saying it is dangerous and alienates people from the cause.
“They’re stopping many of Wellington’s residents, those who probably support their cause overall and interrupting their lives...they need to be focusing on the Government, not day-to-day citizens.”
She said moving forward, she would be working with the police for future protests but urged the group to come and talk to her.
“I’m urging them as strongly as possible – please don’t do this kind of protest again.”