PLEASE HELP! It cost Avi Yemini $268K to take Dan Andrews to court
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has declared war on press freedom, hiring government lawyers and private law firms to keep me from his press conferences by trying to overwhelm our legal team. I need your help to stay in the fight.
As you know, I’m in the Supreme Court, fighting against Dan Andrews’ political censorship.
It started last year when I went to a press conference at the Parliament in Melbourne. I identified myself to the police guards, showed them my ID, and was let in just like any other reporter. But then Andrews’ political assistant saw me, and he ordered me off the property — like he was some king, commanding a peasant to get out of his sight!
But we live in a democracy, not a dictatorship. A free press is essential to keeping a close watch on our politicians. Especially politicians as abusive as Dan Andrews.
So I applied for a formal press pass to the Legislature. And that’s where things got really serious.
It won’t surprise you hear that I was denied press credentials, without any explanation at all.
And to this day, the government is keeping it a secret who actually made the decision.
This isn’t just about me, of course. Because if they can keep me out they can keep anyone out, for any or no reason.
That’s not how it should work in a democracy. I reported from the streets of Hong Kong, and even the Chinese Communist Party didn’t censor me like that.
So I took the Victoria government to court. I hired the best media lawyer in Australia, Justin Quill. After all, a win would set a precedent for all Australian journalists — strengthening press freedom.
And a loss would set a precedent too — one where politicians get to pick and choose which reporters get to cover them, and which are banned.
Justin is expensive. But he’s worth it. He’s the best media lawyer in the country. Over his 24 years as a lawyer, he’s represented everyone from The Age to the Herald Sun and even the ABC.
He gave me an estimate for the cost of this legal battle. He said it would be between $80,000 and $100,000.
That’s a lot of money, but this was a big battle. So we signed up.
But that’s when something shocking happened. And here’s why I need your help so badly.
Dan Andrews declared war against us. He not only deployed government lawyers, but he also hired private law firms too. He put together an entire legal army to stop little old me. It was bizarre — he surely spent a million dollars of taxpayer money just trying to keep me out. He was obsessed with it.
Andrews’ lawyers fought over everything. It was like trench warfare.
They came up with obscure arguments, including a legal argument dating back nearly 200 years. It’s obvious their goal was to overwhelm our little legal team. They fought over everything, even when it didn’t make sense.
We met them blow for blow. We hired a top-ranked QC, Will Houghton, too. We built a great legal team. We matched Dan Andrews government lawyers.
I think we’ve got a good chance to win it.
But when I received our legal bill, it was bigger than the estimate — a lot bigger.
Dan Andrews had made fighting me in court his top government priority. And that tripled the amount of work my lawyers had to do. Not just Justin Quill, but our QC and a whole legal team.
The final bill: a jaw-dropping $268,000.
That’s Dan Andrews’ way of saying “don’t ever challenge me again.”
It’s his way of trying to wear me out, trying to exhaust me. Dan Andrews has the unlimited resources of the state. But Rebel News and I rely 100% on viewer donations.
This is the biggest legal bill we’ve ever had. But it’s 100% legitimate. Our team did a year’s worth of work for this battle, in a compressed period of time.
We had to — because freedom of the press is on the line.
Please help me pay this legal bill. Please help me roll back Dan Andrews’ punitive censorship. Do it for me, so I can keep reporting the truth to you. But do it for Australia — we so dearly need to set a legal precedent for freedom. And this expensive lawsuit is the best way how.
Please give what you can using the donation form on this page — thank you from the bottom of my heart.