The co-founder of the controversial activist group Extinction Rebellion, who was disowned by his colleagues after he described the Holocaust as “just another f***ery in human history,” is reportedly planning to launch a new environmental campaigning group.
Roger Hallam has apparently spoken to meetings across the country to recruit a “direct action” force for a new campaign called “Just Stop Oil”, to be launched in March with a series of blockades of petrol stations, oil depots and refineries.
Although Extinction Rebellion disavowed Mr Hallam, it is understood that at least 23 of the 71 recruitment meetings held by Just Stop Oil were jointly organised by Extinction Rebellion, a spokesperson for which insisted: “We’re all part of the climate movement and so Roger is free to talk to us. But we are separate organisations.”
Mr Hallam made the comment about the Holocaust in an interview to the German newspaper, Die Zeit, in 2019. He told the newspaper, “the extremity of a trauma can create a paralysis in actually learning the lessons from it. The fact of the matter is, millions of people have been killed in vicious circumstances on a regular basis throughout history, ” adding: “They went to the Congo in the late 19th century and decimated it,” before adding that contextually, the Holocaust was “almost a normal event…just another f***ery in human history.”
Mr Hallam claimed that his comments, which appeared to minimise and downplay the Nazis’ systematic murder of six million Jews, were taken out of context: “I want to fully acknowledge the unimaginable suffering caused by the Nazi Holocaust that led to all of Europe saying ‘never again’. But it is happening again, on a far greater scale and in plain sight. The ‘global north’ is pumping lethal levels of CO2 into the atmosphere and simultaneously erecting ever greater barriers to immigration, turning whole regions of the world into death zones. That is the grim reality. We are allowing our governments to willingly, and in full knowledge of the science, engage in genocide of our young people and those in the ‘global south’ by refusing to take emergency action to reduce carbon emissions.”
In a post on Twitter, the German branch of Extinction Rebellion wrote: “We explicitly distant ourselves from Roger Hallam’s belittling and relativising statements about the Holocaust. In so doing he contravenes the principles of XR, which does not tolerate antisemitism, and he is no longer welcome in XR Germany.”