The 2012 boat race was stopped today by a man swimming in the path of the boats. The chap in question is thought to be Trenton Oldfield, a graduate of the London School of Economics.
He was protesting against Elitism and explains his actions on his blog 'Elitism Leads to Tyranny':
THIS IS A PROTEST, AN ACT OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE, A METHODOLOGY OF REFUSING AND RESISTANCE. THIS ACT HAS EMPLOYED GUERRILLA TACTICS. I AM SWIMMING INTO THE BOATS IN THE HOPE I CAN STOP THEM FROM COMPLETING THE RACE AND PROPOSING THE RETURN OF SURPRISE TACTICS. THIS IS ‘PEACEFUL’ ... I HAVE NO WEAPONS (DON’T SHOOT!) MY ONLY FEAR, IS NOT SWIMMING FAST ENOUGH TO GET IN THE RIGHT POSITION TO PREVENT THE BOATS.
He used the capitals, not us.
Trenton thinks the boat race between Oxford and Cambridge stinks of elitism and, rather than ignore it, he decided he must do something about it.
Nobody thought prior to Trenton's action that this race could be accused of elitism, what a selfless act this was. Getting himself in all the papers, and giving away his privacy, to make us aware of something which we previously had no idea about. The boat race is elitist? Really?
Thanks Trents, a whole new world of thinking has opened up to us.
That's not all he wants to do, to combat this elitism there are over actions you can take. Trenton suggests that the Olympics could be a good option. Yep, Trents, let's take out someone in the marathon and ruin it for all the spectators and athletes involved, that'll really help the charge against elitism.
Trenton is also upset that civil liberties are being taken away from people and now he's managed to halt a boat race and encourage similar protests at the Olympics, security will probably have to curb civil freedoms around these events even more - he can then protest about this with renewed vigour and the circle can continue. It's a fool proof plan, luckily.
You're blaming this tool for "encourag[ing] similar protests at the Olympics, security will probably have to curb civil freedoms around these events even more" when in preceding months we've seen the government jingoistically roll out the army in public exercises as a precursor to them policing the Olympics instead of say the police? Not to mention the government talking of how missiles may be used during the Olympics to defend against Al-Qaida and if we're talking about the curbing of the civil liberties how about the internet monitoring measures that have been proposed all before this sop donned his speedos? You're trying too hard to inflate the significance of this dullard SportWitness.
It's irrelevant what we've seen in previous to what will be put in place now following this man's actions. The next boat race will have heightened security with less freedom, because of this man. Boat races during the Olympics will have to be aware of this and his encouragement of others to do similar.
Regardless of your views on the policing of the Olympics and the political ideals surrounding it, it's clear that because of the event yesterday there will be heightened security at future similar events.
There is something perverse about blaming someone exercising their right to protest for the response of the authorities who are all too happy in curtailing freedoms and trampling liberties in the name of security.
That outlook and the servility it implies is more problematic than anything Oldfield did yesterday.
People have a right to protest but not break the law, he broke the law and has since been arrested. His actions were dangerous and could have easily led to his death - something which is his responsibility but it wouldn't have been a great experience for a rower to have caved his skull in.
Security around these events will be stepped up directly because of his attention seeking actions which, if you look into his self contradicting background, are clearly aimed at furthering his own profile rather than anything else.
In doing that he's curtailed all our freedoms a little bit more because security will have to make sure it's harder for another idiot to copy what he did.
Seems like you're unfamiliar with the concept of civil disobedience.
Its the fact that you're laying the blame at the feet of an idiot for the curtailing of civil liberties instead of the cynical opportunism of the authorities that is illogical.
An idiot doesn't know better, especially when he thinks he does.