THE AUSTRALIAN man jailed for disrupting the historic Oxford-Cambridge boat race says he remains a committed protester but plans to stay away from this year’s event.
Trenton Oldfield made world headlines in April 2012 when he swam between the two rowing crews in the River Thames in a protest against elitism.
The London-based Australian was subsequently found guilty of causing a public nuisance and sentenced to six months in prison.
He was released after seven weeks wearing an electronic tag.
Mr Oldfield said upon his release in December he “would do it again”.
But pressed by AAP on Wednesday to confirm he had no plans for action at Sunday’s 159th running of the race the activist said: “Correct”.
The 36-year-old, who has this week launched a book entitled The Queen vs Trenton Oldfield: A Prison Diary, said he remained involved in other protest activity and stood by his actions during last year’s race.
“100 per cent no regrets,” Mr Oldfield said.
“I’ve still been protesting since I’ve come out of prison. I’ve been on lots of protests.
“I don’t think that I should have gone to prison or been in a criminal situation for protests.”
Mr Oldfield said writing the book would help raise money after he was also ordered to pay STG750 ($A1100) in costs over last year’s incident.
He said the book was designed to challenge “preconceived ideas held about prisoners and prisons” as well as discussing issues such as criminal class and the criminalisation of protesters.
“Nobody could actually tell me what the point of going to prison was,” Mr Oldfield said.
“Nobody could tell me I was going to be rehabilitated, or if it was punishment.
“Nobody was able to actually say what was meant to happen to me after being there.”
Organisers have pledged increased security for Sunday’s race and appealed for no repeats of last year’s disruption.
Mr Oldfield targeted the 2012 race as a symbol of elitism and London’s inequality problems. – AAP