Victoria Police delivered a letter to my home.
It was signed by a senior officer — Acting Detective Sergeant Adam Moore of the Victoria Police Crime Squad.
The letter didn't mince words.
If I don't take down a news video that I recently published, I could face two years in prison.
Read the letter for yourself:
Imagine having this delivered to you at home. I think they did that on purpose to upset my family.
Victoria Police Command don't like me much. You've witnessed them arrest me, assault me and even go after my team. This isn't the first time they've come to my home to intimidate me. And as you know, I'm already suing them for that misconduct.
But this isn't like all the previous attacks on me. In the past, they'd rough me up a bit, throw me in the back of a police vehicle, but then just let me go.
What's new here is the threat of two years in prison.
All for showing you a news report, in the public interest, that dared to shed light on shocking, brutal, authoritarian conduct by Victoria Police.
(That sort of proves my point, doesn't it?)
By now, you must be wondering which of my videos they say is illegal.
They say I could go to prison for a long time for showing you.
But I'm not taking down that news report. In fact, I want as many people as possible to see it — not only to see what Victoria Police Command don't want you to see, but also to prove that we're still a free country. (At least, I hope we are.)
This is the video they're threatening me to take down:
I'm not making this decision lightly or rashly.
As you know, we regularly consult lawyers before doing our most important stories. In this case, I have consulted with Justin Quill, Australia's leading media lawyer.
This is his reply to the police — I think it's just right:
In a free country, that would be the end of it. In fact, in a genuinely free country, I never would have received that threat letter from the police in the first place.
We've already had to spend money on our legal defence here. And if I have learned anything about Victoria Police this past year, it's that they will use their unlimited resources to bully anyone who doesn't submit to them — especially independent journalists like me.
So, if you can, please chip in to my legal defence fund. This really is an ongoing David vs Goliath battle, and I'd have no chance against the full resources of Victoria Police if it weren't for your help.
Please click here, use the donation form in the sidebar, or go to AviLegalFund.com. Whether it's $10 or $100 or even more, I promise we'll use it to defend freedom of the press. Not just for me — but to set a precedent for all of us.
In the last year, I have racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills defending my journalism. We always retain the best lawyers to fight anyone who tries to bully us out of our work. I need your help to ensure I can fight on.
We've never lost a case yet, and I've never removed a story, even when a gangland lawyer tried to sue me. With your help, I promise not to cower in 2022 either.