As part of a series, Frontline News is featuring activists who were unjustly imprisoned for their fight against government extremism in the name of COVID. Many activists, scientists, and other professionals lost their friends, careers, or were censored for standing up, but a small few fought for freedom by sacrificing their own. These are their stories.
Monica Smit, 33, was arrested in Melbourne, Australia on Aug 31, 2021, after she attended and encouraged others to attend a protest against Victoria's strict lockdown policies.
She was charged with inciting others to break public health laws by promoting attendance at the protest.
The Melbourne magistrate set strict conditions for bail including a daily curfew, and a gag order on publishing “any material which incites opposition to the Chief Medical Officer’s directions.” and being forced to “remove any materials which incite opposition to the Chief Health Officer’s directions.”
This meant that Smit would have to shut down her pro-freedom organization Reignite Democracy Australia (RDA), and submit to government censorship, and repression of her activism on the biggest human rights issue of the day.
Taking a stand
Smit refused to submit to the bail conditions and so the judge sent her to jail. She ended up being jailed for sitting in solitary confinement for 22 days until her appeal was heard by a higher court.
In an interview with the Jerusalem Report, Smit spoke about her choice to remain in jail, saying, "I don't feel like it was a hard decision because the bail conditions were so extreme. Really. I was given that blessing, where I was able to make that stand."
Talking about her time in jail, she said, "It was obviously distressing; I mean being strip-searched is something that you can never forget for the rest of your life. Especially when you're an innocent person."
"I fasted and was determined to come out stronger than I went in."
"No matter how much pain doing the right thing feels, the feeling of peace from knowing you did the right thing, far exceeds any painful feelings…. I was sleeping like a baby knowing I did the right thing."
About three weeks later, Justice Hollingworth of the Supreme Court rejected much of the bail conditions labelling some "unnecessary, disproportionate and without utility."
Smit was released on bail with more reasonable restrictions on September 21, 2021.
Continued government harassment
The saga was not over, though. In March 2022 Smit received a warrant from Victoria Police demanding private information including passwords of those registered on her RDA's website.
Despite the threat of a five-year prison penalty for not complying with the warrant, Smit refused seeing it as an egregious violation of privacy, freedom of expression and association.
Once again her courage paid off. On July 18, 2022, the incitement charges and the warrant were dropped.
After receiving a letter from the prosecutor's office, an excited and emotional Smit addressed her supporters in a video statement saying.
"If you know that you are in the right then you can have peace - no matter how much pain you go through. Imagine if I had listened to those naysayers, imagine if I had pled guilty! Imagine if I'd signed those bail conditions, imagine if I hadn't stood my ground or went to prison for 22 days - how I would feel right now?"
"I can tell you that some things are worth fighting for"
In an interview with Life Site News, Monica speculated as to why the charges got dropped. “The COVID hysteria has died down a lot and the public are no longer as afraid as they used to be. Pursuing charges on a woman like me for allegedly organizing lockdown protests would now seem very politically driven and unjust to most people.”
She continued saying that Australians “should be shocked at the behavior by the police towards a tax-paying citizen with no criminal record like me. This is not the Australia I grew up in, and I hope they are held accountable for their treatment towards me.”
Smit's RDA organization has just expanded to advocate for freedom beyond Australia with last week's launch of Reignite World Freedom, whose stated purpose is to implement a global "strategic pushback against the globalist agenda ensuring we maintain our individual and collective liberty."
Please see our previous articles in this series depicting political prisoners of COVID extremism: