Australian police on Wednesday arrested outspoken libertarian commentator and documentary filmmaker Topher Field on charges of “incitement.”
Field, who was interviewed recently by The Conservative Digest’s Grant Stinchfield, has spoken at rallies held to protest strict COVID-19 mandates in Victoria, Australia. On Wednesday, he live-streamed his arrest on Facebook after police showed up at his home in Melbourne.
The video shows officers standing outside his house while they announced they were arresting him.
One of the officers told Field that they’d called him to notify him about the arrest because he “didn’t want to do it in front of your kids. That’s all out of respect for you and that kind of thing,” according to the video.
Field told Facebook viewers, “Apparently [they are] telling me that I have been ‘inciting’ … so we will see what the bail conditions are; that’s really what’s going to set the tone for what happens here going forward.”
Field then asked his viewers to “spread the word” that he’d been arrested.
He has since been released on bond and is back home, according to online reports.
Field has often spoken out about the health mandates that have been put in place by the Victorian government and is working on a documentary about the local police department’s treatment of several people who have been charged with incitement in relation to anti-lockdown protests, among other issues.
According to the Victorian Crimes Act, incitement is defined as when a person incites another to “pursue a course of conduct which will involve the commission of an offense by either the person incited, the inciter, or both.”
Citizen journalist Rukshan Fernando, who has been documenting the protesters’ arrests, said in a Facebook video that Field’s arrest “is what Australia, particularly in Victoria, has come to, where we are seeing more and more people being arrested for political reasons to be shut up, to be given ridiculous bail conditions.”
He pointed out that the arrest was like that of Monica Smit, who operates an anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine group. She also live-streamed her arrest on charges of incitement after she was pulled over while driving in Melbourne.
While speaking with The Conservative Digest’s Stinchfield last month, Field commented on the crackdown in Australia against protesters speaking out against stringent COVID-19 procedures.
“Australia is not some backwater country, some failed state,” he said. “My home city of Melbourne, a city of 4.5 million, has been voted the most liveable city in the world multiple times, just in the last decade. In less than 18 months it went from the best city in the world to a police state. If it can happen here, the reality is it can happen absolutely anywhere.”
But people have a “naive idea” that the government will take care of them, Field told Stinchfield. “People had this naive idea they didn’t need guns, that the government could protect us,” he said.
But already, the government’s anti-terrorist squad, formed after 9/11 and equipped with armored vehicles, is already using them against protesters, said Field.
“Those are now being rolled out on the streets of Melbourne,” he said. “They’re shooting rubber bullets out on-site against anyone suspected of being a protester. That’s how they’re used against an unarmed population.”