Lockdown protesters take Victoria’s Chief Health Officer to Supreme Court

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Lockdown protesters take Victoria’s Chief Health Officer to Supreme Court.

By Avi Yemini

For the past month we’ve been helping Australians who have been issued outrageous and illegal pandemic fines. We’ve told their stories, and we’ve hired lawyers for them through crowdfunding. But there are over 25,000 people who have been fined in Victoria alone. We can’t possibly take 25,000 cases.

Or can we? What if we hired a world-class barrister, famous for fighting top constitutional cases, and challenged some of the most egregious lock-down laws at Victoria’s supreme court?

What if we were able to knock out an entire law — or at least, for starters, the part of the law that bans protests? Banning protests is the kind of thing you’d expect to see in China, not in Australia. Surely banning political communication is unconstitutional. It has nothing to do with public health.

Well we’re about to find out, because that’s exactly what we’ve done. Today we filed a blockbuster lawsuit against Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton, urgently challenging Dan Andrews’ China-style censorship law. And we’ve hired one of the best constitutional lawyers in Victoria to do it: Kathleen Foley, who has taken many high-profile constitutional cases before.

You can read the entire lawsuit yourself on this page, and I really recommend you do.

This lawsuit is being put before the courts urgently because there are major protests planned for the 23rd of October. We need everyone to know — the police and protesters, and the media — is it still legal in Australia to have a peaceful protest?

This case will have national ramifications, and once and for all the courts will draw a line in the sand regarding our rights as Australian’s to free speech and protest. There’s a lot at stake.

And if we win, other judges, in other countries, would see that Australia is bringing a proper balance back for civil liberties. A win in Australia could actually help change momentum around the world.

Our case has two plaintiffs — Tony Pecora and Kerry Cotterill — who were given massive fines for simply expressing their disagreement with Dan Andrew’s lockdown. Kerry was simply out for a walk, all by herself. But because she was carrying this sign, police swarmed her and gave her a massive ticket. What’s that got to do with public health?

The charges against Tony couldn’t be more political — he was actually arrested and charged in early September for ‘inciting’ a protest against the lockdown. To this day, his bail conditions BAN him from using social media. What’s that got to do with a virus?

That’s the same thing that happened to Zoe Buhler, the pregnant mom in Ballarat who had police burst into her home and handcuff her, simply for making a Facebook post. That’s not how we do things in Australia, and we need the Supreme Court to remind a lot of people of that.

Both Tony and Kerry have entirely different stories that we’ll share in-depth later this week; the important thing right now is that they prove the same thing: the state is illegally trampling on our rights, and it needs to end now. By taking their cases, we have standing to challenge the entire censorship provision of the law, for everyone. This case is a game-changer.

Tony and Kerry are ready to fight. And so am I, and so are their top lawyers. But we need one more thing: you.

We need your help to crowdfund this project because to get this off the ground will cost at least $60,000. We have the perfect test case with a top legal team including the outstanding criminal lawyer Madeline Smith and the extremely impressive constitutional barrister Kathleen Foley.

All we need is your help to crowdfund this fight for our freedom. Every cent counts, so if you can give $5, $50, $500 or $5,000 your donation will not only pave the way to freeing Victoria but in fact the entire country.

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