Court Date Set for Trenton Oldfield

Boat Race protestor will appear in Feltham on Monday

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Trenton Oldfield with police officers. Picture: Mark Newton

Picture: Lucinda Macpherson, Chiswick Pier Trust

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A date has been set for Boat Race protestor Trenton Oldfield to appear in court.

Mr. Oldfield, 35, of Myrdle Street, Whitechapel, east London, was released on bail after being held in custody in Chiswick police station.

He was charged with an offence under the Public Order Act, and is scheduled to appear at Feltham Magistrates Court on Monday, April 23.

Trenton Oldfield was arrested following a disruption at the University Boat Race on the Thames at Chiswick Eyot on Saturday, April 7.

The Unversity Boat Race had to be stopped after he appeared in front of one of the crews by Chiswick Eyot.

The race marshall was forced to halt both crews after he was narrowly missed by the oars of the Oxford crew. He was taken ashore at Chiswick Pier by the Chiswick RNLI lifeboat where eye witnesses report that he received a hostile reception being booed by onlookers.

Trenton Oldfield previously worked with the Thames Strategy - Kew to Chelsea partnership which aims to manage the development of the river in this area. He was based at Hammersmith Town Hall whilst working with the group. Mr. Oldfield was also employed as a consultant to manage the Open Chiswick event in 2008. He has also been a participant in the Great River Swim from Chiswick Pier.

In a blog authored by Trenton Oldfield called Elitism Leads to Tyranny the reason given for the disruption of the race was that the stretch of the Thames on which the event takes pace "is also the site of a number of past and present elitist establishments; Fulham Palace, Chiswick House and St Paul's Schools and a large collection of other 'independent/public/free schools'." He also mentions Putney, condemning Nick Clegg for choosing to live there rather than in his Sheffield constituency.

He says (in capitals in original), "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 also compares his action to suffragette Emily Davison who threw herself in front of the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby in 1913 in support of votes for women.

Just before the interruption the race was neck and neck and was restarted near Chiswick Eyot but soon afterwards a clash of led to one of the oars of the Oxford crew breaking allowing Cambridge to finish well ahead. A objection from Oxford was rejected and the result was ruled valid.

April 20, 2012