During lockdowns, threats to civil liberties are increasing, and those that challenge the idea of lockdowns often have to do so online. And while social media censorship is one hurdle to overcome, in some states around the world, getting arrested for those online posts is an increasing likelihood.
One of the strictest and most invasive attempts at suppression of anti-lockdown ideas has been the Australian state of Victoria where arrests have been made.
Tony Pecora, a 43-year-old, was recently charged with two counts of incitement after anti-lockdown posts on Facebook and encouraging people to protest.
Named Melbourne Walk for Freedom, the protest was originally scheduled on September 12 and Percora’s support for the protest allegedly came through a fake Facebook profile with the name “Arkwell Tripelligo.”
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“…in order for Pecora to be released, he had to agree to conditions which included not going within 600 feet of the Victorian Parliament – where the protests were to be held – and, more worryingly, Pecora had to turn over his phone, computer, and passwords.
Pecora was also ordered to not interact online with other anti-lockdown supporters.
When police scoured social media and found Facebook posts in support of anti-lockdown protests, they searched Pecora’s home and seized two iPads.”
When Pecora was questioned about the possibility of people contracting the virus as a result of the mass gathering, he said: “It would be better to die on your feet than live on your knees.”
Pecora’s lawyer, Joel Tito, has now told the Melbourne Magistrate court that his client would not be pleading guilty. Pecora will be fighting the charges and will launch a challenge to the validity of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act … in terms of people leaving their home and expressing their political views.”
Pecora’s case is due to return to court in February.