This is a compelling and powerful conversation with inspired climate activist Roger Hallam (read his book Common Sense for the 21st Century), the co-founder of Extinction Rebellion. For me the environment is the most urgent issue of many we are currently dealing with because without a livable, sustainable world, all of the other issues will vanish just like us. If we all do something, anything, for the greater planetary good, then we can make an enormous positive impact.
Roger Hallam is a Welsh environmental activist, a co-founder of Extinction Rebellion, cooperative federation organisation Radical Routes and the political party Burning Pink.
Hallam was previously an organic farmer on a 10-acre (4-hectare) farm near Llandeilo in South Wales; he attributes the destruction of his business to a series of extreme weather events.
Between at least 2017 and early 2019 he was studying for a PhD at King’s College London, researching how to achieve social change through civil disobedience and radical movements.
In January 2017, in an action to urge King’s College London to divest from fossil fuels, Hallam and another person, using water-soluble chalk-based spray paint, painted “Divest from oil and gas”, “Now!” and “Out of time” on the university’s Strand campus entrance. They were arrested in February when they again spray painted the university’s Great Hall, charged with criminal damage and fined £500.
In May 2019, after a three-day trial at Southwark Crown Court, they were cleared by a jury of all charges, having argued in their defense that their actions were a proportionate response to the climate crisis. In March 2017, Hallam went on hunger strike to demand the university divest from fossil fuels—the institution had millions of pounds invested in fossil fuels but no investment in renewable energy. Five weeks after the first protest, the university removed £14m worth of investments from fossil fuel companies and pledged to become carbon neutral by 2025.
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