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In photos: Early morning clash between police and protesters in Wellington

In photos: Early morning clash between police and protesters in Wellington

In the early hours of the morning, police launched an operation at Parliament and the surrounding areas "to restore order and access to the area". Before the sun rose, police could be seen getting in formation, holding shields.

An early morning police operation is underway in Wellington.

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Some protesters had spent the night preparing for action, with cars and campervans moved to block streets. A trampoline was moved into an intersection and struts were used to further block access.

Protesters have set up strops, connecting them to cross entry points. Cars and large campers are blocking Aitken Street.

Photo: RNZ

As a loud speaker blared instructions for protesters to leave or be arrested, officers searched tents and checked no-one was in them before ripping them down.

Police ripped down tents at the protest site in Wellington during an early morning operation.

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Police ripped down tents at the protest in the early hours of the morning.

A protester is removing their belongings from a tent that has been taken down by police. Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Police undertake an early morning operation to restore order and access to the area around Parliament.

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Police undertake an early morning operation to restore order and access to the area around Parliament.

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

As daylight set in, a clash between protesters and police followed.

Protesters clash with police on day 23 of the occupation.

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Protesters clash with police on day 23 of the occupation.

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Protesters clashed with police during an early morning police operation at Parliament.

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Milk was used by protesters to cool the impacts of pepper spray.

A protester washes their face with milk - something used to cool the effects of pepper spray.

A protester washes their face with milk - something used to cool the effects of pepper spray. Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

A protester seen with milk on their face - something used to cool the effects of pepper spray.

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

The protest is in its 23rd day in Wellington.

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Milk poured over a protester.

Milk poured over a protester. Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Police said protesters were seen carrying things to use as weapons like pitchforks, fire extinguishers and paint-filled projectiles. Others were seen carrying wooden shields towards police lines. At least three police officers were injured, they said.

Protesters carry a wooden shield in the crowd.

Protesters carry a wooden shield in the crowd. Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Mist from fire extinguishers filled the air as tensions rose.

Police clash with protesters in Wellington during a pre-planned operation.

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Protesters and police clash on the 23rd day of the occupation in Wellington.

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Police and protesters clash on 23rd day of protest in Wellington.

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Protesters and police clash on day 23 of the protest in Wellington.

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Police said they had gained significant ground, removing a number of vehicles and structures belonging to the protesters.

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Photo: RNZ/Jake McKee

The protest is in its 23rd day in Wellington.

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

The protest is in its 23rd day in Wellington.

Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Leading up to midday, police in riot gear could be seen in among the operation, 60 people had been arrested and the day was far from over.

To protesters who didn't want to get caught up in the operation, Police Commissioner Andrew Coster advised: "Please go home."

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