Activists don't often come as intriguing or outlandish as Daniel Cooper.
We didn't see that coming...
There is so much environmental awareness in the media right now, from the news to Twitter. Arguably, there has never been a more imperative time for us to listen and understand what's going on, but activists like Greta Thunberg and beyond have captured the hearts of many and encouraged millions to listen and make a change.
More and more young people are actively engaging in protest to help save the environment, which as you'll know, isn't exactly new, but simply improving. Throughout the decades, many groups have performed stunts or protested in the name of helping preserve the planet, and one of the most notable names of the nineties was Swampy.
"Oh I remember him!" you may be saying to yourself. Well, if you do, you'll be intrigued to learn that he's returned.
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Who is Daniel Hooper?
Swampy - real name Daniel Hooper, aged 46 - attracted significant media attention back in the nineties for his involvement in a number of environmental campaigns.
His most notable action is clear, and that’s when he lived underground for an entire week in protest against the rerouting of the A30 in Devon, as highlighted by The Telegraph. After a while, his name stopped appearing in papers and so forth, and it looked as though he’d just faded into obscurity, ceasing to embark on stunts in the name of his cause.
However, the same source notes that he’s returned to the public eye after appearing in court for his participation and involvement with the group called Extinction Rebellion. In an interview with ITV News, he said: "You think there is hope and I believe there is hope and now everyone needs to think about what we are doing, governments need to change, companies need to change. We need People's Assemblies to decide what to do, this is a state of emergency."
Daniel pleaded guilty to willful obstruction of a highway; he and others handcuffed themselves to a feature on the road in protest. To stay true to his beliefs, he confessed to the Magistrates: "I was doing it to prevent a greater crime, the eco crime of profit at the cost of the planet. I am pleading guilty, I can't really afford to keep coming to court."
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What happened to Swampy?
In the earlier ITV News interview, he admitted: "My beliefs are the same as they always were and I did have a quiet ten years, almost to the point where you have apathy towards how we can change things, then Extinction Rebellion started happening.”
The activist was even on shows like Have I Got News For You back when he was in the limelight for his activity.
However, it’s been a while, and he now lives in the village of Talley, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, which is host to a number of environmentalists who continue to strive and save the planet. Instead of houses, they live there in teepees.
According to The Sun, he has a partner and three children, so as you'd imagine, he's been pretty busy with a different life. It's also noted that he works for the Forestry Commission.
Communal living and family is very much what we expected to hear from Daniel, despite it being a headline-less decade of sorts. Although it felt like he positively vanished, he was still involved in protests after he became famous, but we anticipate that his time in the media has come once again in 2019. This surely won't be the last we'll see of him.
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Twitter users react!
Since his re-emergence, people have flocked to Twitter to voice their thoughts.
One fan wrote: "Good to see Swampy is still on the case but he shouldn’t have to be." However, it's clear that Swampy feels he can be of more importance now than ever.
Another admirer passionately expressed: "Don’t you dare call @XRebellionUK activists as ‘swampy and co’... in your condescending tone. They have the courage of their convictions and deserve our admiration, not disdain. They do let emergency services through and fight for our future #ExtinctionRebellion."
Back in September, a Twitter user posted a picture of Daniel with the caption: "You don't see activists of this calibre anymore. Where's Swampy when you need him?"
Well, he's back!
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