Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told Bild it was not enough that Extinction Rebellion had distanced itself from Mr. Hallam. The movement must make it clear âwhether it wants to tolerate such views in its ranks,â he said.
âAs keen as they criticize climate change deniers,â he said, âthey should also do it with Holocaust relativizers.â
The remarks come at a time when some in the climate change movement have turned to disruption to drive home their message. Extinction Rebellion protesters, in particular, have employed tactics such as delaying commuter trains on the London Underground, blocking roads and bridges around the British Parliament, staging a âfuneral marchâ during London Fashion Week and lying in pools of fake blood outside the New York Stock Exchange. The group, which was founded in 2018, has also staged demonstrations in Australia, France and Germany.
Affiliates have sought to distance themselves from Mr. Hallamâs comments, with a spokesman for Extinction Rebellion Germany saying he was in favor of excluding Mr. Hallam from the movement. The German branch wrote on Twitter that Mr. Hallam was âno longer welcome in XR Germany.â
Extinction Rebellion UK âunreservedlyâ denounced Mr. Hallamâs remarks, saying in a statement that although it favored ârestorative measures,â in some cases, âexclusion is necessary.â
Mr. Hallam, a former organic farmer in Wales who has paused his Ph.D. studies in civil disobedience at Kingâs College London, is recognized as a driving force behind Extinction Rebellionâs attention-grabbing tactics. But he is also seen by some in the group as a liability who might say something extreme when talking to the news media, activists have told journalists.
XR Jews, an arm of Extinction Rebellion, said in a statement: âNo one should talk about a peopleâs traumatic history in a throwaway manner, even if the point is to raise awareness about a deadly serious issue. In doing so, they may embolden those who already threaten that community.â
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