AUSTRALIA—Anti-lockdown protest leader James Bartolo has been arrested by Victoria police in the morning on September 4, for running a conspiracy website called The Conscious Truth Network.

27-old bodybuilder James Bartolo posted a footage on Facebook in the morning on September 4, showing multiple police officers knocking on his door and calling him to letting them in. Bartolo yells from his house’s balcony, claiming that police were trespassing on his property, but they entered his house forcefully with a warrant, and arrested Bartolo inside his living room. He was charged with incitement, possession of prohibited weapons and two counts of resisting police. Police seized several devices including a mobile phone, laptops, and five samurai swords, said 7 news.

Victoria Police said they have been investigating a series of ongoing protests against lock-down, and had already arrested three suspects including pregnant mother Zoe Buhler with the charge of incitement of protests. Bartolo runs a conspiracy website “The Conscious Truth Network“, which questions authorities and insists that COVID-19 is a hoax, and vaccines are a weapon. At night on Thursday, September 3, Bartolo encouraged his followers to attend “Freedom Day” protest on Saturday, September 5.

After Bartolo was released, he posted a video on Facebook and said he cannot encourage people to go to Saturday’s protest anymore. “‘Don’t go, it’s a trap”, he said. “I said not to go because it’s the worst possible thing to do because it’s a setup.” He warned his followers that “police are probably not going to be very nice on the day”. Instead of that, he recommended people go to a better-organised event on September 13. Victoria city’s lock-down was planned to end on September 13, but then the draft roadmap said it would be extended, according to Daily Mail.