Extinction Rebellion bigwig Roger Hallam has been widely condemned, including by much of XR, for comments belittling the significance of the Holocaust.
Speaking to German newspaper Die Zeit. Hallam said: “The fact of the matter is, millions of people have been killed in vicious circumstances on a regular basis throughout history… [The Holocaust was] almost a normal event... just another fuckery in human history”.
We don’t know Hallam’s motivation or underlying political prejudice here. But to put the Holocaust in the context of other mass killings in history does not require talking about it in this way – unless the underlying motivation is to minimise it. Neither does dramatising the murderous threat of runaway climate change.
XR Germany has officially commented: “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.”
XR UK commented: “Jewish people and many others are deeply wounded by the comments today.
“Internal conversations have begun with the XR Conflict team about how to manage the conflict process that will address this issue.
“We stand by restorative outcomes as preferable, although in some cases exclusion is necessary.”
This is very welcome, but XR is a swirling mass of all kinds of political ideas – some good, some not. Socialists active in and with XR must take these arguments forward at a grassroots level.