False information about the American vaccine and overdose enters New Zealand

"When you lower the level of speech to the level of street violence," it may increase the risk of violence, "said a former U.S. intelligence adviser.

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When Josephine Bartley, a city council member in Auckland, New Zealand, heard that a local Covid-19 vaccine clinic had been vandalized earlier this month, she called to assess the damage. After speaking with the owners and assisting them in communicating with law enforcement, he saw three men roaming around the parking lot.

"Some boys were standing next to my car just staring at me," he said by phone and email last week.

"One of them called me trash," he said, and then suggested that they damage his car. The men are riding in a four-wheel-drive vehicle. But this shocked Bartley, a member of the Labor Party, who said he did not know if the men were related to the destruction of a health facility, which operates in the local Pacific community.

“I was confused, trying to figure out who the‘ garbageman ’was - were black people? Was it work, was it council? Was it a goal? Were they women? But I was concerned about my safety, ”said Bartley. "The police did not allow me to use my car and sleep for a few days," he said.

As New Zealand shifts to a “living with this virus,” citizens who are accustomed to living almost without Covid due to the epidemic are facing increasing numbers of cases and increasing vaccination authority. Vaccination protests and frustration at the frontiers of the epidemic are fueling the movement of small but legitimate protests driven in part by US politics.

In a working paper published this month, a team of researchers in New Zealand said that "the popularity and durability" of disinformation around Covid-19 had increased significantly since August, at the beginning of the outbreak of violence caused by a highly contagious disease. a separate delta of coronavirus, which handles most New Zealand cases.

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The researchers said the disinformation information "was used as a Trojan horse" to persuade New Zealanders to go from vaccination to immunization and accept far-right views, such as white supremacy and extreme disrespect. Some of the most extreme content, they say, comes from overseas, especially in Australia and the U.S.

Bartley said the online harassment of New Zealanders was directed at his office and clinic prior to the incident at the clinic.

"I sent a video with an American anti-vaxxer saying, 'If you support the policies you will go to hell,' 'he said.

NBC News also saw phone messages from Shane Chafin, an American citizen of New Zealand, revealing the phone number of a pharmacist who criticized his vaccine distribution, in which he appeared to be urging fans to harass him in retaliation. NBC News asked Cafin to comment.

Chafin works for Counterspin Media, a New Zealand-based news site run by GTV, a company founded by former Trump strategist Steve Bannon. In November, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's press conference was called off after Cafin scolded her about the vaccine.

Make America Great Again hats and flags from the QAnon conspiracy theory organization appear in crowds at protests against closures and vaccinations in cities like Wellington and Christchurch. Sam Brett, a Canterbury University student who attended the recent protests against his medical research, said the general protest sounded like "a small New Zealand version of the Trump conference."

Protests often produce “powerful and powerful speakers,” said Brett, who called the government “a vicious attack on human rights.”

They also chose the language and culture of the Indigenous New Zealanders, just as online related language promotes Maori racism, said one of the authors of the work, Sanjana Hattotuwa, a researcher at the University of Auckland.

"Maori identity, symbols, history, culture, narratives and specific individuals are accounted for by white actors, especially in the Telegram," an app that can serve as another social media platform, allowing greater anonymity and less stricter social rules. there are sites like Twitter do.

Symbols include the Maori flag and Ka Mate haka, a festival dance known worldwide for its pre-game All Blacks rugby team matches.

Dai Toa, a Maori ethnic group recognized by the government as a legitimate dancer in this dance, called on protesters in a statement released this month to "stop it" immediately.

"We are clear that the Covid-19 vaccine is the best protection we can get," said Helmut Modlik, the nation's chief executive officer.

The nation highlighted Brian Tamaki, an anti-road activist who leads the Freedom and Rights Coalition, said they had been told he was planning to teach haka to protesters so that they could play in the future.

Tamaki, who is out on bail after repeated arrests for appearing in protests against road closures contrary to court orders and public health regulations, did not respond to requests for comment. Martin Daly, a member of the Pentecostal church led by Tamaki and a member of the Freedom and Rights Coalition, said he did not agree with the national order.

"There are many Maori [tribal] leaders in our organization, up in the North Island, and they have said that they are speaking quite the opposite," he said.

The Maori tribes are particularly frustrated because they are less likely to be vaccinated than other New Zealanders and have been equally affected by the delta genocide.

Hone Harawira, a Maori human rights lawyer and former lawyer, said he respected people's right to protest, but "not when that protest threatened.