It is alleged that Zoe-Lee Buhler 28, through her Facebook page encouraged people to protest against lockdowns in her State of Victoria which has the highest rate of Covid-19 infections and presumably resultant deaths in all of Australia.
Her arrest was captured on video showing Ms Buhler, pregnant, in pyjamas before her small children and partner being read her rights and placed in handcuffs.
The Victorian Bar Association says the arrest was “disproportionate to the threat she posed”.
The Police Commissioner Luke Cornelius said of the video “her arrest made for terrible optics”. Ariel Couchman of Youthlaw seems to conflate her arrest saying that Victorians have been fined for not breaching the law.
Did the accused breach the law?
The central question is did Ms Buhler breach the law. She was arrested under section 321G of the state’s Crimes Act 1958, which makes it an offence for a person to “pursue a course of conduct which will involve the commission of an offence”.
Therefore, did her Facebook post amount to an offence? No doubt Covid-19 has created a legal, economic and social environment that test laws, people’s sensitivities and understandings.
Did Ms Buhler commit an offence – that is up to the court and not social media or any commentary informed or otherwise.