Need to get rid of crowds of protestors? Try blasting Barry Manilow and James Blunt. That’s the strategy recently used by the government of New Zealand amid the ongoing Freedom Convoy protests in the country.
Per reporting by CNN, people have congregated at the country’s parliament building in Wellington, camping out in front of the government headquarters to protest the vaccine mandate issued by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. (Similar protests originated in Canada, with a convoy of truckers making their way to Ottawa to air their grievances about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.)
However, according to CNN affiliate Radio New Zealand, the federal government hit back at the unrest clogging up public spaces by putting together a playlist featuring the greatest hits of Manilow, James Blunt, an out-of-tune version of Céline Dion‘s Titanic theme “My Heart Will Go On” played on the recorder, and even Los del Río‘s inescapable 1996 dance hit “Macarena.” Per RNZ, the playlist — which is interspersed with promotions for COVID-19 vaccines — is the brainchild of Trevor Mallard, Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives, and the decision to use the music was not made by law enforcement.
Blunt’s music was added to the playlist after the “Bad Day” singer caught wind of the tactic and offered up his songs on Twitter. “Give me a shout if this doesn’t work,” he tweeted Feb. 12, tagging the official account for the New Zealand police.
“@JamesBlunt we will take up your very kind offer. My only doubt is whether it is fair to our @nzpolice officers but I think they will be able to cope,” Mallard responded hours later.
The crowds of protestors have been fighting back by playing Twister Sister‘s “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” according to RNZ. The move is a bit ironic, given lead singer Dee Snider‘s full and vocal support for vaccine requirements at concerts and other live events as well as COVID-19 vaccination in general. He even condemned anti-mask protestors for using the song back in September 2020, slamming their stance as “moronic.”
Check out Blunt’s tweet and Mallard’s reply below.
Give me a shout if this doesn’t work. @NZPolice https://t.co/AM2dZ6asMS
— James Blunt (@JamesBlunt) February 12, 2022
@JamesBlunt we will take up your very kind offer. My only doubt is whether it is fair to our @nzpolice officers but I think they will be able to cope. https://t.co/spb1BDK50u
— Trevor Mallard (@SpeakerTrevor) February 12, 2022