Covid 19 Omicron outbreak: Protest groups in Parliament seen arguing over talks with police

Two protesters got into a heated argument during a live broadcast. Video / Chantelle Baker

An early morning row between protesters in Parliament revealed the fractured links linking the groups to the word ‘traitor’ hurled at convoy organizer Leighton Baker after it was discovered he had spoken to police.

Baker’s daughter, Chantelle, live-streamed the pre-dawn row after protesters were abruptly awakened to find large numbers of police on the street and concrete blocks being moved to stop cars from driving. blocking the streets of Wellington.

Two protesters, watched by Counterspin’s Kelvyn Alp, rushed Leighton Baker after it emerged he knew about the police operation the previous night.

One of the protesters appeared to be the woman who was dragged naked from the protest group on the showdown day in Parliament.

During part of a heated exchange, she told Baker that he was a “responsible or a traitor”.

Police said from the outset that it was difficult to engage with the protest in any meaningful way because the leaders of the various groups involved were difficult to identify.

The livestream saw Baker identify himself as someone who had had discussions with police and then passed on information to a ‘steering group’ about police moves this morning to clear the streets of Wellington.

The information does not appear to have been passed on to those camping in Parliament and in the cars on the surrounding streets.

The woman who berated convoy organizer Leighton Baker for her prior knowledge of police moving through concrete blocks.  Photo / Provided
The woman who berated convoy organizer Leighton Baker for her prior knowledge of police moving through concrete blocks. Photo / Provided

Baker’s daughter, Chantelle, was live streaming police moving through large concrete blocks when she paused to support her father.

She continued to stream, sending the sometimes heated argument between Baker and the two protesters who challenged him to Facebook. Chantelle Baker’s shows with their anti-public health approach have developed a strong following.

Leighton Baker told the pair who confronted him that he had been busy with meetings throughout Sunday.

“Look, I dropped the ball. I totally say it, but I’m not a sellout,” he said, when challenged to meet with police.

The woman who confronted him said: “You deliberately lied to me today. I have textual evidence. It says there were no negotiations with the police.”
In response, Baker said, “It’s not negotiations. They told us that’s what we’re doing.”

Baker was repeatedly questioned about the discussion he had with the police and the nature of those conversations.

At one point, the woman who challenged him said: “To be honest, I’m a little upset that you unknowingly used my freedom to bargain with the police. When we’re on an occupation, you don’t negotiate. with the police.”

The woman who blamed Leighton Baker appears to be the same person who was dragged naked from the protest line at the start of the occupation.  Photo / Provided
The woman who blamed Leighton Baker appears to be the same person who was dragged naked from the protest line at the start of the occupation. Photo / Provided

She told Baker that she and the man with her had “years of experience” protesting. She then expanded her frustration to include portable toilets set up in Wellington’s Sky Stadium, requiring people to walk a distance to use them and face returning obstacles.

Chantelle Baker stormed in, saying, “It was the police who made this toilet. It wasn’t the people.” Then she told her viewers, “I’m sorry, that girl is talking bullshit.”

At this point, the voice of the woman challenging Baker is obscured until the end of her sentence when she tells him “you are still a liability or a traitor”.

The claim caused Chantelle Baker to burst out laughing, then said: “That’s such a lie it’s not even funny. You’re just lying about my dad and I’m not okay with that. And you came to me and you were lying about me too.”

The woman continued to make her point, wondering why Baker thought he was the right person to speak to the police.

The bearded man with her told Baker, “If you knew they were going to do this, it should have gone through security, it should have gone through us.”

Baker, in response, said, “I told the leaders of all the bands. I didn’t tell the people.” His communication with the police was backed up by his daughter, who said, “Someone has to speak to the police on behalf of the convoy.”

Leighton Baker on the defensive after meeting the police.  Photo / Provided
Leighton Baker on the defensive after meeting the police. Photo / Provided

The defiant Baker replied, “We are the people who have to deal with it – the front line. Where were you on the front line?”

As the argument continued and it gained more attention, Baker defused it by saying he had made a mistake.

“I told the leaders of all the groups. I didn’t communicate with people. That’s where I screwed up.”

It was a concession with which Chantelle Baker took issue, pointing out that her father had “told all the leaders who were at the management meetings”. “It’s up to the leaders to tell their group.”

“It’s a reflection of management, not dad. He’s literally trying to help management and none of them are listening. And none of them want to stand up and say anything.”

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