A Victorian grandmother who has spent more than two years in a David versus Goliath constitutional battle for holding a protest sign has declared she will not give up.
Kerry Cotterill was arrested on September 13, 2020, for holding a sign showing a picture of Victoria Premier Dan Andrews that was captioned “TOOT TO BOOT”.
Police arrested and fined Cotterill despite the fact that she was fully complying with strict Covid restrictions in place at the time.
Police later withdrew the fine after the grandmother took her challenge to the Supreme Court of Victoria.
She said she believed the actions of police – fining her for holding a sign protesting the government - had set a precedent that endangered the rights of all Australians.
“I think it’s really important that we do have constitutional rights,” she told me.
“I worry about other things. Will there by climate change lockdowns? If we don’t stand up for our right to speak up, they can pretty much do whatever they like to us.”
Her case, publicised by Rebel News, garnered enormous public support despite the fact that she lost a three-day Supreme Court challenge in August last year.
Cotterill, of southeast of Melbourne, immediately appealed because she believed the case had implications for people around Australia.
“What we are actually doing here is for a declaration from the court saying that your right to political speech is absolute,” she said.
“People wear political t-shirts. Where do they draw the line?”
“This doesn’t just affect Victorians; it affects everyone in Australia.”
The on-going legal battle has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Cotterill is currently awaiting a decision from The Court of Appeal.
She said she never imagined fighting for simple rights would cost so much money.
Her current appeal was costing $90,000 of which 86 per cent still needed to be raised.
“Without Rebel News I wouldn’t have been able to fight this,” she said. “One person can’t do much but together we can achieve great things.”
Cotterill said she hoped people would continue to donate despite the fact Covid restrictions were behind them.
“It may seem like this is all behind us,” she said. “But you can see the way it fluctuates. There is always this looming threat. We need to have things in place to make sure these things don’t happen again.”
Kerry needs your help to finally get the job done
Between counsel, court fees and expert witnesses, her first 3-day trial cost over $140,000, which you guys were so generous in helping cover. And now, we have a final bill of $90,000 for everything associated with Kerry's appeal. This is the last chance to save Victoria.
Please give what you can using the donation form on this page to support Kerry's appeal fund.