Anti-vax ‘freedom fighter’ in court ‘win’
Following a controversial legal battle, prominent anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown activist Monica Smit has been found guilty of breaching Covid restrictions.
The 34-year-old appeared in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday for a hearing in relation to the two charges of failing to comply with health regulations during the pandemic.
She was accused of attending an anti-lockdown rally in Melbourne’s CBD on August 21, 2021, during the state’s sixth lockdown.
Ms Smit admitted to attending the rally, and the court was previously told that she had been posting messages to social media to encourage others to attend and not to wear masks.
Police also alleged she had travelled more than 50km to visit the Brighton home of Professor Ian Brighthope in the same month.
In both cases, Ms Smit claimed she was acting in her capacity as a journalist for the political movement she founded called Reignite Democracy Australia.
On Monday, she was found guilty of the two charges but did not receive convictions.
Ms Smit welcomed the news in a video on her YouTube channel in which she refused to back down from her controversial beliefs.
“I was found guilty of breaking the Covid restrictions, which I was guilty of doing but, you know, I obviously believe the restrictions aren’t really that valid,” she said.
“I believe it’s definitely a win.”
The activist noted she spent a year-and-a-half in and out of court over the allegations.
She thanked the “60 or 70 people” who attended court to support her as well as the magistrate who allowed her to voice her concerns with the Covid restrictions for around 10 minutes.
Ms Smit’s legal “win” comes less than a year after police withdrew charges of incitement laid against her in relation to Melbourne’s 2021 Covid lockdowns.
Last year, she told NewsCorp she intended to sue Victoria Police over her imprisonment, which resulted from her refusal to accept and abide by strict bail conditions.
Apparently nodding towards her earlier promise, Ms Smit took to YouTube to promise she wouldn’t rest after the court win.
“We’re coming after them because they do not have the right to do what they did without any excuse or without any explanation as to why they just withdrew charges,” she said.
“I’m going to continue to fight, not just for me but for all of us.”
The Reignite Democracy founder spent 22 days behind bars on remand before the Supreme Court of Victoria granted her bail and scrapped the “onerous” conditions.
Ms Smit rose to prominence during the early days of the pandemic in 2020 when she sponsored a bus to travel around Melbourne and implore residents to sack Premier Dan Andrews.
She founded Reignite Democracy in the height of the pandemic but recently revealed the political movement was on the brink of bankruptcy.
In a video posted on YouTube, the activist told viewers she would be forced to close down in two months without funding from the public.
The self-proclaimed “freedom fighter” claimed her movement was $80,000 in debt and appealed to the elderly for assistance.
“If you’ve got an inheritance and you’re older and don’t know what you’re going to do with it, why not support us?” she said.
“We’re gonna go bankrupt and that’s gonna affect me and that’s not really fair.”
Ms Smit told followers that Reignite Democracy had been “there for Australia when Australia really needed it” and forged a community and connections that are “going to last a lifetime”.