Zoe-Lee Buhler’s partner livestreamed her arrest on the social media platform, which shows Victoria police entering her home with a warrant and handcuffing her in her pajamas.
“You're under arrest in relation to incitement,” one of the officers says, explaining to Buhler that she was being apprehended due to a Facebook post she made about the anti-lockdown protest in Ballarat, which is located in southern Australia.
Buhler tells the cops that she’s pregnant and has an ultrasound in an hour. She adds that she hasn’t broken any laws.
The officer tells hers, “You are breaking the law, that's why I'm arresting you.”
Buhler says she can delete the post, which also linked to the protest and was captioned, “Anyone from Ballarat please join us in our fight for freedom and human rights!”
Police continued with the arrest and said that the warrant permitted them to seize all computers and mobile devices at their home, including the phone that Buhler’s partner was using to record the arrest.
Buhler told CNN affiliate 7News outside her home that she didn’t know she had done anything illegal. "I wanted to feel like I was standing up for human rights,” she said. “I had a bit of a bimbo moment.” She added that she didn’t know she’d made a mistake but will contest the charge.
Victoria state instituted a rigid lockdown on Aug. 2 when COVID-19 cases spiked in the area. In a statement to CNN, police said that they had been informed of a “prohibited gathering” in the works for Saturday, which was “in blatant breach of the Chief Health Officer's directions and puts Victorian lives at risk.”
The 28-year-old woman is now out on bail but will have to appear before court in January 2021.
“Those still thinking of attending the protest in Ballarat on Saturday can expect a swift and firm response from police,” said 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.”