Flat White

Australia died when Zoe Buhler was handcuffed

Rocco Loiacono

Screenshots from livestream

Rocco Loiacono

5 September 2022

11:00 AM

On September 2, 2020, a young pregnant woman in Ballarat, Zoe Buhler, had several police officers turn up at her home and arrest her while she was still in her pyjamas. The incident happened in front of her two little children as she prepared to go to her ultrasound appointment.

Buhler’s serious offence was that of incitement.

On what basis was this arrest made? For a social media post asking the citizens of Ballarat to stand in solidarity with their fellow Victorians in Melbourne under draconian stage 4 lockdowns, while respecting all social distancing and mask-wearing rules.

What could possibly have been the problem with this? After all, while Melbourne had been in stage 3 lockdowns less than three months earlier, a Black Lives Matter protest was allowed to go ahead with the blessing of the Victoria Police. It was attended by over 10,000 people, marked by a lack of social distancing and mask-wearing.

As anyone with any decency left in what was once a country whose national anthem told us to rejoice since we were ‘young and free’ recoiled in horror at seeing this young woman in distress and tears, pleading with the pack of officers to leave her alone if she took down the post – only for the police to arrest her anyway. What followed, in this correspondent, were feelings of intense anger and betrayal.

Where were the voices of condemnation from so-called human rights activists, law societies, the media? The answer is nowhere to be heard since this young woman wasn’t protesting for the ‘freedom’ of toxic identity politics, but for the fundamental freedoms that are, in the words of the American Founding Fathers, self-evident and to which we are all endowed by our Creator.

What is more, where were the voices of condemnation from politicians at this abomination?

What did then Prime Minister Scott ‘we do not trust in governments’ Morrison have to say?


I will stand corrected, but I can count on one hand those that I recall speaking up, and none of them federal government ministers, as far as I can remember. And the Coalition parties in Canberra are still asking themselves why they lost the last federal election. What about the Liberals in Victoria? Again, I stand corrected, but apart from Tim Smith, Tim Quilty, and David Limbrick (the last two are Liberal Democrats), did anyone plead Zoe Buhler’s cause? Not a chance.

That night I wanted to tear up my Australian passport. Was this the same country my parents came to in search of a better life for themselves and their children? Was this the same country people fled to after facing wars and persecution? Was this the same country that saw a Prime Minister cry after the Tiananmen Square massacre of protesters who were asking for the same freedoms that countries like this one took for granted? 

The Australian dream, and all it represented, had died.

Last week, almost two years to the day, Victoria Police withdrew its charges against Zoe Buhler at the Magistrates’ Court in Ballarat. But, just in the same way as the CDC has quietly overturned its position that there is no difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated people without so much as an admission of the idiocy of its appalling discrimination, is there any apology or remorse being shown for the disgraceful events in Ballarat? Has Commissioner Luke Cornelius apologised for, or retracted, his comments at the time of Zoe’s arrest that he was ‘absolutely satisfied’ the officers acted appropriately, and Zoe had ‘engaged in serious criminal behaviour’? Not a chance.

Two weeks ago the UK Telegraph published a front-page piece with a headline Lockdown effects feared to be killing more people than Covid. In fact, the article by the paper’s science editor Sarah Knapton cites excess deaths data from Britain’s Office for National Statistics that make it plain this will happen. Knapton says that, ‘Over the past two months, the number of excess deaths not from Covid dwarfs the number linked to the virus.’

The Swedish approach was right, and so was Zoe Buhler, after all. This country has nothing to be proud of for what has occurred here over the last two and a half years, and if it wants to resurrect itself, what happened to Zoe Buhler, and all the thuggery it engaged in to ‘follow the science’, must never be forgiven or forgotten.

Dr Rocco Loiacono is a legal academic, writer and translator.

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Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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