Boat Race protester remains defiant

News Shopper: Trenton Oldfield was found guilty of causing a public nuisance after disrupting the Boat Race between Cambridge and Oxford Trenton Oldfield was found guilty of causing a public nuisance after disrupting the Boat Race between Cambridge and Oxford

Boat Race protester Trenton Oldfield has said that his six-month jail term was "political", that he had no regrets, and that he would do it again.

In a bizarre and at times angry interview with BBC Radio Five Live Breakfast's Nicky Campbell, Oldfield said he swam into the paths of the crews in this year's race because it would only affect a limited number of people.

It was a "profound and symbolic" protest, he said. But when repeatedly pressed to propose alternatives to the British political system, Oldfield snapped and swore that he was not interested.

Millions of television viewers watched Oldfield halt the annual race on the Thames between Oxford and Cambridge universities on April 7. He was found guilty at London's Isleworth Crown Court of causing a public nuisance and jailed for six months by Judge Anne Molyneux.

The interview began with Oldfield being asked if he thought he owed an apology to the rowers who had trained hard for the race.

The protester said he had "sympathy" for them but if he owed an apology then so did governments around the world whose policies were undermining people who have "trained hard" for a good life.

Later, when asked about his court case, Oldfield said: "It was hard not to burst out laughing in the courtroom when the judge was reading her summary of my political sentence of six months in jail," he said.

Asked why he did not appeal, he said: "First of all I didn't believe in the charge that was given to me - I had no choice, I had to go through the process and an appeal would be suggesting that I still believed in the system and the system could address it. In a way you kind of take your hat and you ask people for their forgiveness or something, I wasn't prepared to do that."

During the broadcast, Oldfield repeatedly complained about the criminalisation of protest in Britain, as well as the criminalisation of families through Asbos, alleged extra-judicial killings, and alleged rate-fixing in the banking and energy markets.

At the end of the interview, Campbell asked him if he would repeat his protest and Oldfield made no hesitation in replying "yes". Asked if he had any regrets, he said: "No, not one, not a single regret."

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