This week, the police were probably the only ones doing more self-inflicted reputational damage than Gavin Williamson. Not only have they failed to stop M25 climate protests four days on the trot, and allowed eggs to be thrown at the king – the only people they have thrown into prison cells have been blameless journalists doing their job.
The media world were all horrified to hear the experience of LBC’s Charlotte Lynch, who ended up in a cell for five hours for reporting – at distance – the Just Stop Oil protests. Earlier in the week, a photographer and a filmmaker were also held in custody for about 13 hours.
In the end, they were all released without charge.
This morning, the Police & Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd, finally apologised to Lynch – but ruined the PR by victim-blaming journalists: they shouldn’t have been covering the protests in the first place.
“I do think that [LBC] too need to have a think about how we as a society, as a community, ensure that oxygen of publicity that Just Stop Oil is seeking is moderated, so that we don’t end up with people doing this and really they’re only doing it because they know it’s going to be reported.”
They’re not: they’re doing it because it ruins many thousands of peoples’ day.
Blaming of the media by senior police representatives is at odds with the police’s desire to get coverage of their own responses to the protests. Four days ago, the Met invited The Sun along to a showcase arrest of Extinction Rebellion founder Roger Hallam.
So much for journalists giving the groups unnecessary oxygen…
Andrew Neil interviewed Extinction Rebellion‘s dangerously eccentric founder Roger Hallam last night. Hallam was released last year after spending 4 weeks in jail at Her Majesty’s pleasure, where his main complaint appears to be that there were no vegan menu options. It went as you might expect. Worth watching…
Despite pointing out last week that Extinction Rebellion fit all the criterion to be classified as a terrorist organisation under the home office’s own definition, the group has continued to receive glowing party political broadcasts from the media. Guido can now reveal more of the group’s extremist beliefs however with this recording of Extinction Rebellion co-founder, Roger Hallam, preaching “you should put a bullet in [the] head” of those who are responsible for harming the environment. Adding, “or rather someone will”.
According to the group’s founder – and despite being an anarchist group without a formal leader remains at the top of their hierarchy – those who deserve a bullet in their head include those who: “run society, run big business, run governments, run the elites.” That’s right MPs – he means you.
Guido was also surprised to see a tweet from Extinction Rebellion last night promising “we are not a socialist movement. We do not trust any single ideology… A banner saying ‘socialism or extinction’ does not represent us“. The same recording of Hallam however makes perfectly clear this is, unsurprisingly, false: “If we’re going to have a possibility of living, we’re looking at mass socialistic organisation.” Socialism brought about by the barrel of a gun. History shows where this leads…
Extinction Rebellion co-founder, Roger Hallam, has launched a new campaign to get 1800 protest participators arrested. For once, Guido’s ears perked up…
In his first Facebook post since leaving the comfort of Her Majesty’s pleasure at Wormwood Scrubs – where he has resided for six weeks following Extinction Rebellion’s Westminster ‘shutdown’ – Hallam writes “going to prison is not the end of the world“. Although he does qualify that “Obviously going to prison is not for everyone”…
Roger explains that:
“… going to prison is a massive headache materially and politically for the authorities and once hundreds and then thousands of people do it in an organised and coordinated way, then in my scholarly opinion real policy changes are going to happen. It is the single biggest act of radical political and nonviolent effectiveness any social movement can decide upon.
I think on the last count something like 1800 people in Extinction Rebellion are up for it. So I will be spending a lot of my time helping to get actions organised which enable these people to walk their talk.
If you are reading this, then I am sure you know it’s all systems go, the time is now, and all the rest of it on the Ecological Catastrophe. So get in touch with XR, book some time off, and make up your book list.”
The call to arms sparked pretty negative reactions on his Facebook page – even from Extinction Rebellion supporters, who have finally decided – after taking a week off work to arrest broccoli and perform their A-level drama dance pieces at Trafalgar square – that there is such a thing as too much “privilege“. Alice wrote, “Obviously spoken from place of privilege and/or mindless ignorance.”
Mat ranted, “Making out like it was some lovely holiday u utter wanker Rodger.. people are locked up every day lives ruined familys torn apart an ur doing it for a giggle…. funny u were banged up the whole time “your minions” were out stoping trains aye”
Namm reminded Roger, “Please remember your race and gender privilege” and Jay put it most bluntly, “A post from a f*ckwit & a privileged white boy”
Hallam responded by asking the comments section to remain respectful. It’s always been clear Extinction Rebellion have criminal in-tent…