Extinction Rebellion founder Roger Hallam is slammed by supporters for boasting about prison

Extinction Rebellion founder Roger Hallam is slammed by supporters for boasting that prison is ‘pretty much as good as it gets’ after serving six weeks on remand in Wormwood Scrubs

  • EXCLUSIVE: Extinction Rebellion founder branded ‘arrogant’ by his followers 
  • The former organic farmer was released from Wormwood Scrubs on Saturday 
  • His XR demonstrations brought parts of London to a halt over the climate crisis
  • But supporters were angered by his ‘white privilege’ for taking prison so lightly
  • Told followers: ‘Sitting on a bed all day reading biographies of Gandhi, having my food made for me, is pretty much as good as it gets as far as I am concerned’

The founder of Extinction Rebellion has been slammed by supporters after boasting that prison is ‘pretty much as good as it gets’ following his six week remand at Wormwood Scrubs.

Roger Hallam, a former organic farmer whose climate change movement brought parts of London to a halt last week, was branded an ‘arrogant liability’ after claiming to be ‘annoyed’ that so many of his followers ‘made up excuses’ to not get arrested.

‘I was fine and if anything [it] was annoying, it was sitting there thinking about why so many people make up excuses for not taking this step which is now so necessary,’ the 53-year-old told his 4,500 followers on Facebook. 

‘I know I’m a bit weird, sitting on a bed all day reading biographies of Gandhi, having my food made for me, is pretty much as good as it gets as far as I am concerned. 

XR Founder: Roger Hallam (pictured), a former organic farmer whose climate change movement brought large areas of London to a halt last week, was branded ‘arrogant’ after he claimed to be ‘annoyed’ that so many of his followers ‘made up excuses’ to not get arrested

‘But really going to prison is not the end of the world,’ he added, to the disgust of many Extinction Rebellion supporters.   

Hallam, who until recently was studying for a PhD in civil disobedience at Kings College, London, encouraged his followers to get arrested at demonstrations en masse as a way of affecting political change.

He wrote: ‘Obviously going to prison is a massive headache materially and politically for the authorities. 

‘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.’

But his comments were met with outrage by those who care about climate change, but are not in a financial position to get arrested with no fear of the consequences. 

Hallam, who until recently was studying for a PhD in civil disobedience at Kings College London, encouraged his followers to get arrested at demonstrations en masse as a way of affecting political change

Hallam, who until recently was studying for a PhD in civil disobedience at Kings College London, encouraged his followers to get arrested at demonstrations en masse as a way of affecting political change

Joe Seph scolded the XR founder, writing: ‘How about a tiny bit of acknowledgement about how your white middle class privilege made it easier.

‘Especially considering how much people have really takes to you and the other XR leaders about stuff like this. Just f*** off really.’ 

Viktoria Haw echoed those views, writing: ‘Wow this is doing nothing for the white middle class image. 

Sitting on a bed all day reading biographies of Gandhi, having my food made for me, is pretty much as good as it gets as far as I am concerned

‘Prison is very different for folk in poverty. Especially leaving, not many would be able to go back to employment. 

‘If I went to prison that would be the end of my job and I would struggle to find work.’

Susan Phasey agreed, writing: ‘Yes it’s white middle class privilege. Absolutely ridiculous to think working class people can afford the luxury of lawyers, a stint away, flowers for the police….’

She then added in a later post: ‘Roger you’re talking white middle class bulls***. Do you seriously think working class people can afford to get the ‘honour ‘ of getting banged up like it’s some pantomime? This is wholly disappointing but not surprising.’ 

The XR founder had been held on remand at Wormwood Scrubs since 16 September following his arrest for attempting to cause a public nuisance by trying to fly a drone near Heathrow Airport (pictured during his arrest on September 19)

The XR founder had been held on remand at Wormwood Scrubs since 16 September following his arrest for attempting to cause a public nuisance by trying to fly a drone near Heathrow Airport (pictured during his arrest on September 19)

Hallam was branded an 'arrogant liability' and unaware of his 'white privilege' after his remarks

Hallam was branded an ‘arrogant liability’ and unaware of his ‘white privilege’ after his remarks

Some appeared to agree with Hallam’s views, however. 

Maria Fischer wrote: ‘Thanks for being such a fine warrior, Roger’, while Chidi Obihara commented: ‘This is what #leadership looks like.’

Hallam was released on bail to Wales on Saturday, following a bail application hearing at Isleworth Crown Court on October 24. 

The XR founder had been held on remand at Wormwood Scrubs since 16 September following his arrest for attempting to cause a public nuisance by trying to fly a drone near Heathrow Airport. 

He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 17. 

MailOnline contacted Extinction Rebellion for comment and received an email that said the communications team were now ‘exhausted’ and currently taking a ‘well needed break for the next few weeks to regain energy for the next phase.’   

Outrage among XR: But his comments were met with outrage by those who care about climate change, but are not in a financial position to get arrested with no fear of the consequences

Outrage among XR: But his comments were met with outrage by those who care about climate change, but are not in a financial position to get arrested with no fear of the consequences

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