The world would be much better off if certain leftists dared to stick their necks out and give full-throated resistance against imperialist aggression without prefacing it with umpteen excuses, extrications and disavowals designed to keep them in at least some of the good graces of ‘polite society’.
On July 14th, Red Fightback comrades attended Roger Hallam’s tour, ‘The Time is NOW’, with the intent to ask Hallam a question about the potential proposed changes to the Public Order Act. At this event, Hallam, who is one of the founders of Extinction Rebellion, made several statements and actions that were extremely disturbing and dangerous for activists.
Amongst these are saying “50 people going to prison is worth 1000 people getting arrested”, passing around sheets to sign people up for prison, suggesting that people circle “yes” and not “no”, and he says that institutional racism was over in a matter of days because 3000 people went to prison. This proves that Hallam does not even consider the implications of oppressed people going to prison, as to him, racism is over!
He also insults activists that have been arrested on behalf of his organisation by trivialising their arrests and implying that they have not sacrificed enough, and that escalation needs to take place. Given that XR has shown no significant intent to centrally support those arrested, it is hard to believe that they would support anyone that goes to prison on their behalf.
Hallam has proven with his words that he does not consider this significant sacrifice to be enough, and now wants activists working with his organisation to go to prison. This is clearly outrageous as anyone in prison is significantly hindered in their ability to revolt. We have audio and video proof of his statements, as well as a scan of his notes (which follows this article), which we are publishing to bring attention to this disgusting lack of care toward the people that fuel and finance his organisation. It is clear that we did not need to ask our question – Extinction Rebellion’s Hallam has no intent of fighting the Public Order Act changes – instead, he would welcome them – because he wants you to go to prison for him.