An anti-vaxxer and anti-lockdown activist appears to have made $50,000 a day on a fundraising site while being held in police custody.
Monica Smit, who appeared on the 2017 series of reality TV show Survivor, is reported to have made the sum through a crowdfunding website which her partner Morgan Jonas started to pay for her legal fees.
Smit is alleged to have encouraged people to attend illegal protests held in Melbourne on 11 August and 21 August during Victoria’s sixth lockdown through messages sent on the Telegram app. She has been charged with two counts of incitement and three counts of breaching the chief health officer’s directions.
She was successful in a bail application last week but refused to sign an undertaking to follow the conditions meaning she would be barred from publishing anything that could incite further breaches of the health orders and mandated to follow a curfew between 7pm and 6am.
The crowd sourcing campaign showed it had raised $247,000 in just five days, despite some of Smit’s legal team apparently working pro-Bono. Presently, it has raised $272,378.
“Monica has an excellent legal team who offered their services pro-Bono for the services provided to date, but we are now asking for support from the Australian people to help cover the costs of the coming fees and prepare us to face the fight ahead,” a post on her website says.
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The website says she is prepared to take her fight to the Supreme or High courts.
Her parents, John and Lise, claim their daughter is a “political prisoner”, while Smit said, in a message through her lawyers, that she “would rather be in prison, with no rights, then (sic) willingly sign them away”.
Ms Smit remains in custody with her next court appearance scheduled on 10 November.