Occupy Auckland protesters have gathered again in Aotea Square from where a number of activists were evicted this morning, and a fence has been pushed over.
A ONE News reporter at the scene tonight said nobody was on the grass area inside the fence, which was lying on the ground, but a couple of dozen protesters were milling around and the atmosphere was quiet.
Several security guards and one police offer were watching proceedings as protesters kicked around a rugby ball.
Early today, a stand-off developed in Aotea Square when up to 60 police and around 40 council security guards moved in to evict protesters.
It came more than 100 days after they set up camp in the square.
Twenty people were arrested for offences such as breaching the peace, trespassing and willful damage. They included one person arrested for assaulting a member of the public.
Auckland Council CEO Doug McKay said most of the protesters agreed to leave of their own accord, "but we ended up with five or six who were still being intransigent".
"We gave them every opportunity to pack up their things and leave peacefully, so we asked the police to act on a trespass order I issued to them," he said.
Tents were removed and put into removal vans while the last protesters grabbed on to them and were dragged along the floor.
Police were subjected to verbal abuse and intimidation, but stood guard for most of the operation.
Activist and Occupy Auckland supporter, Penny Bright, was one who tried to stand her ground and said she was doing nothing wrong.
"A breach of the peace is a violent or unlawful act which causes members of public to feel alarm or excitement. How can me inside my tent be any of those things?" she told ONE News.
But McKay said the protesters continued to occupy the square in defiance of a district court ruling that they should leave.
That ruling came just days before Christmas, giving protesters
48 hours to move on.
Bright said there's still two weeks to appeal that ruling in the High Court.
She said today's evictions and similar action on Monday where cars, tents and camping gear were removed from four sites around the city, is premature.
"Is this what ratepayers want? You can't get a cop to come to a burglary, but they're in force helping to remove protesters," she said.
Thirty protesters had returned to Aotea Square a few hours after Monday's action.
McKay told TV ONE's Breakfast he hopes protesters will finally get the message that their campsite was illegal.
"I hope they see now our determination to ensure that the parks are freed up for use by all of Auckland not just a small band of last remaining protesters," he said.
Media 'missed the issue'
Meanwhile, Auckland University sociology lecturer, Campbell Jones, says the media has missed the protesters'' issue.
"The thing we need to remind ourselves of is this is a movement concerned with economic injustice, the political system and the ideas we have to maintain that. And that issue's not being taken seriously by the New Zealand media at all."
Auckland Council is due in court again next Thursday to seek
warrants for the removal of any remaining tents and arrest warrants
for those still refusing to leave.
The council is hopeful after today's actions those warrants will not be needed.
Wellington protesters dig in
Meanwhile, Wellington City Council has rejected occupy protesters' requests to stay in the city.
Protesters were seeking permission to stay next to the City to Sea Bridge until July 4, and also asked the council to supply them with a building in the central city for occupation.
However, in a letter sent to the group yesterday, council chief
executive Garry Poole rejected all requests and demanded Occupy
Wellington must pack up and go, or they'll enforce the bylaw by
whatever means possible to evict them.