Academics Take On Trenton’s Troubles

A petition, signed by a raft of Oxbridge and academics has called upon the Home Office to halt the deportation of Boat Race protester, Trenton Oldfield


UPDATE 14:07

Trenton has won his appeal against deportation, he’s not back off to Oz.

The presiding judge said: “There is no doubt as to your character and commitment and the value you are to UK society generally.”

“It would appear to me from the evidence and the submissions that have been made on your behalf that it would be my intention to allow your appeal.”

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Over two hundred Oxbridge dons and alumni have signed a petition demanding that the deportation of Boat Race protester and general cheeky trouble maker, Trenton Oldfield, be halted.

Oldfield was dragged from the river after disrupting the 2012 Boat Race by jumping in the way of the boats and arrested for causing a public nuisance. Also handed down a six month jail sentence for his antics, he is appealing the deportation order today.

Oldfield: A "public nuisance"

Oldfield: A ‘public nuisance’

The Home Office decided that Oldfield’s deportation was in everyone’s interest, as his continued presence in the country was “not to the conducive good”.

Oldfield, an Australian who has lived in the UK for ten years, is claiming that he has the right to stay in the country, with his wife and young child, under article eight of the Human Rights Act, which protects the right to family life.

Oldfield on his way to court following charges

Oldfield on his way to court after being charged

In an incendiary letter the dons said: “The Boat Race is a game; its disruption should not result in any individual’s deportation. Certainly its disruption should not be cause to separate an individual from his family, which includes a recently-born child.

“We note that the race was completed successfully and no one was harmed by Mr Oldfield’s actions. We do not wish this draconian penalty to be applied in the name of an event representing our institutions.”

Dr Priyamvada Gopal, a fellow of Churchill College Cambridge and one of the organisers of the petition, told The Tab that she believed it was in students’ interests to support Mr Oldfield.

“We see now that the most mild forms of civil disobedience and protest are being penalised in a heavy handed fashion – people suspended from their courses, arrested, jailed. We are quite close to a situation of state repression of dissent.

“This takes place in the wider context of a crackdown on protest by our current regime.”

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Dr Gopal: ‘Supporting Trenton is in the students’ interest’