Pregnant Woman Charged Over Anti-Lockdown Event Says Her Arrest Is 'Fear Mongering'
A pregnant Australian woman has lashed out after being arrested and charged for incitement.
Zoe-Lee Buhler was taken into custody over the weekend for allegedly starting an anti-lockdown protest event on Facebook and encouraged her friends to attend.
The mum-to-be was accused of creating an event for this Saturday (5 September), titled 'Freedom Day Ballarat', which was billed as a 'peaceful protest'.
Her husband live-streamed the arrest and it's since gone viral across the country, with more than two million views so far. The 28-year-old has since spoken outside her home and lashed out at being charged with incitement.
"I'm just a passionate person. I'm sick of the lockdowns and I'm sick of hearing about suicides," she said. "I personally lost my job, and I'm just sick of watching the economy collapse."
Figures released last week showed there has been no increase in the number of suicides in Victoria during the coronavirus pandemic.
During her arrest she pleaded with the officer to let her take the Facebook post down, however they still took her into custody. She now says she regrets what happened.
"I wanted to peaceful protest and I don't want anyone going to jail or getting hurt," Ms Buhler said. "So I'm not going to sit here and encourage protesting. It's sad though, I wish I could."
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When asked whether she would still protest this Saturday, she said she's too worried about what could happen, adding: "It's fear-mongering."
There have been rumblings for weeks that people across state would gather this Saturday to protest against the Stage 3 and 4 lockdown orders implemented in Melbourne and Victoria.
Premier Daniel Andrews admits he hasn't seen the vision of the arrest but he still has slammed the woman's alleged actions during his press briefing.
"There are rules. We're not gonna change those rules. Protests are not smart, they're not safe, and they're not lawful. And that's where it's at," he said when asked by Sky News whether he would let the protest go ahead.
"If Sky News is advocating that I should change my position and protests should be allowed, well, it's an interesting day, then, isn't it? Because my position will not be changing."
Police have warned people they will be dealt with 'swiftly' if they break the rules that have been around since August 2.
A Victoria Police spokesperson told LADbible: "Victoria Police is aware of a prohibited gathering which is planned for Ballarat on Saturday. Any gathering of this nature is in blatant breach of the Chief Health Officer's directions and puts Victorian lives at risk.
"Victoria Police has already taken action as part of an ongoing investigation into the planning and encouragement of protest activity in Ballarat.
"Those still thinking of attending the protest in Ballarat on Saturday can expect a swift and firm response from police. We will have no hesitation in issuing $1,652 fines to anyone who is breaching the restrictions on the day, or making arrests if necessary."
Featured Image Credit: Sky News