One of Australia’s best-known anti-vaxxers has issued a bizarre plea after revealing she was on the brink of bankruptcy.
Melbourne woman Monica Smit made a name for herself as an anti-lockdown activist during the Covid pandemic, and went on to found the Reignite Democracy Australia (RDA) movement-turned-political party.
But now, the organisation is on the brink of collapse – and she wants your inheritance to save it.
In a series of videos shared online, the former reality TV wannabe, who failed to land a spot on Survivor in 2017, confirmed that RDA was running out of money and would close down within two months if the public didn’t bail the group out.
“You can just straight out donate or if you’ve got, you know, an inheritance and you’re older and you don’t know what you’re going to do with it, why not support us?” she said in one video, which has been shared widely on social media.
“If we don’t get an answer in the next two months, I’m going to have to close all the services with RDA.
“I’ll keep the business directory open, I’ll keep the tools that are already there open, but there’ll just be nothing new coming out of it because I’m going to go bankrupt.”
Reignite Democracy Australia founder Monica Smit is calling for donations.
She went on to reveal that she was planning to travel to Europe to share her knowledge, using “the last of my savings” to do so.
“We were there for Australia when Australia really needed it, you know, the community groups that we started and the connections that we made, they’re going to last a lifetime, and the people that were involved in those groups back in the day when we used to have to hide under bushes have gone off and joined other groups and created other groups, and you know, it was exactly the right thing at exactly the right time because you know, I’ve learnt so much,” she said.
“I have Reignite Freedom which is a global organisation and I’m travelling Europe soon on my own money because I still believe that if I keep doing what I feel is right in my heart, somewhere along the line God will look after me, so I’m happy to spend the last of my savings on that, because what I’ve learnt creating community groups in Australia, it’s going to really help me to do the same thing for Europe.
“I’m going to travel around Europe and create events and help them to create a communication structure and then I’m going to move on.
The site also shared a profit and loss statement for the six months ending December 31, 2022, which revealed the organisation’s total trading income was $186,693.33, with ages and salaries costing $174,052.40Monica Smit pictured at a 2022 silent protest involving unvaccinated healthcare workers. Picture: Mark Stewart
“So I’m really excited to share what I’ve learnt and I’m really glad that Australia helped me to learn that and I’m so glad for all of your support.”
The Reignite Democracy Australia website also shared an article on Wednesday confirming it faced imminent collapse and that “over the last 10 months, we’re negative over $80,000”.
The site also shared a profit and loss statement for the six months ending December 31, 2022, which revealed the organisation’s total trading income was $186,693.33, with ages and salaries costing $174,052.40.
The document also shows website development expenses were more than $13,000, while international travel cost more than $10,000 and national travel just over $7000.
“I have sacrificed three years of my life on a $500/week wage while using my savings and depending on my parents’ support. I don’t regret a second of it, but it’s time I make tough decisions to protect my future,” Ms Smit wrote.
“Being a public freedom fighter is stressful in itself with constant attacks, but to have financial stress on top of all that … it’s too much for one girl to carry.
“The facts are … we have no large investors, no government handouts or grants, and we pay tax and GST as if we were a normal company but we operate as a not-for-profit. There are countless financial obligations when employing people and owning a business, I just can’t keep up.”
The announcement sparked fierce backlash online, with the SOS Twitter account – which is dedicated to calling out Australian conspiracy theorists and members of the so-called “freedom movement” – poking fun of the situation.
The prominent Melbourne anti-vax campaigner had charges of incitement dropped.
“The sun appears to be setting for Mon Mon. If she doesn’t get more donations to waste she’s shutting the door for the last time,” the account tweeted.
Ms Smit made headlines in October 2020 when she sponsored a bus to travel around Melbourne beseeching Melburnians to sack Dan Andrews.
She shot to prominence again after being arrested in Brighton, Victoria in 2021 and was later charged with two counts of incitement in relation to protests held in Melbourne on August 11 and August 21 and three counts of breaching the chief health officer’s directions during Victoria’s sixth lockdown.
She was successful in a bail application, but in a spectacular twist she refused to sign an undertaking to follow the strict conditions.
Her parents, John and Lise, claimed at the time that their daughter was a “political prisoner”, while Ms Smit said, in a message through her lawyers, that she “would rather be in prison, with no rights, then (sic) willingly sign them away”.
Her partner Morgan Jonas – also an anti-lockdown activist and vocal critic of Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews – launched a crowd fundraiser for her legal defence, which raised $247,000 in just five days despite some of Ms Smit’s legal team working pro-Bono – meaning she made $50,000 a day while sitting in a cell.
She ended up securing a legal win when she had “onerous” bail conditions scrapped in the Victorian Supreme Court after spending 22 days in custody.
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The charges were ultimately dropped, and Ms Smit announced in December 2021 that she intended to sue cops for the time she spent behind bars.
– with NCA NewsWire