Nighttime tensions during the occupation of Parliament as police with riot shields deal with protesters

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Tensions over the occupation of Parliament flared briefly on Saturday evening as police wearing riot shields and helmets faced off against a group of protesters and a number of cars drove up.

The resurgent activity, which took place on the 19th day of the protest, appeared to catch police off guard.

An officer said he was unaware other protesters were about to arrive.

Other protesters arrived at parliament on Saturday evening.  Anti-warrant demonstration.

George Block / Stuff

Other protesters arrived at parliament on Saturday evening. Anti-warrant demonstration.

Several cars, some of which are towing caravans, appeared to arrive at the protest site around 9 p.m., to cheers from the crowd.

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Further police reinforcements arrived on Bowen St around 9.10pm.

A protester shouted at the police ‘what are you going to do when all the tractors come?’

Police with riot shields appeared during the protest on Saturday evening.

Ross Giblin / Stuff

Police with riot shields appeared during the protest on Saturday evening.

Another larger crowd gathered at Bunny St opposite the station, near Aitken St.

The group of several hundred protesters were cheering every minute or so when a new car of protesters carrying flags arrived from Thorndon Quay.

New reinforcements of protesters continued to arrive in a steady stream as midnight approached. By then, tensions had eased considerably and a Thing reporter at the scene said there were no more police with riot shields.

The occupation of Parliament saw a surge of activity late on Saturday evening.

Ross Giblin / Stuff

The occupation of Parliament saw a surge of activity late on Saturday evening.

Crowds continued to cheer late Saturday night as cars carrying protesters arrived sporadically.

Earlier, officers were seen moving an escorted forklift down Featherston Street. It was used to move a concrete block near the Thistle Inn on Mulgrave Street.

The forklift returned to base, escorted by police, around 10:30 p.m.

In pictures: Saturday evening at the demonstration

Police with riot shields during the occupation of Parliament on Saturday evening.

George Block / Stuff

Police with riot shields during the occupation of Parliament on Saturday evening.

The demonstrators are seated on the concrete bollards.

George Block / Stuff

The demonstrators are seated on the concrete bollards.

The vehicles with caravans arrived around 9 p.m.

George Block / Stuff

The vehicles with caravans arrived around 9 p.m.

Police gather on Bowen St.

George Block / Stuff

Police gather on Bowen St.

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