Extinction Rebellion co-founder arrested by British police for conspiracy to cause criminal damage and fraud after bank attacks

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Gail Bradbrook, a British climate activist who co-founded the Extinction Rebellion group, has been arrested for conspiracy to cause criminal damage and fraud after her organization attacked banks and encouraged debt disobedience.

“Extinction Rebellion co-founder Gail Bradbrook was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police at her home in Stroud at around 5:30am this morning for conspiracy to cause criminal damage and fraud in relation to Money Rebellion’s debt disobedience,” a spokeswoman for the group said on Tuesday.  

Extinction Rebellion UK tweeted that Bradbrook faces a potential sentence of 10 years in prison, adding that she is currently being held at Compass House police station in Gloucester.  

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Bradbrook and other activists from the group staged multiple protests against banks including HSBC and Barclays, which they accuse of financing global warming. They smashed windows at the banks’ regional branches and head offices.

In November, Extinction Rebellion also launched a campaign of financial civil disobedience, encouraging people and businesses not to pay debt and instead redistribute it to climate-related causes. 

While the group claims to be a non-violent organization, it has been frequently accused of vandalism and has clashed with the police on numerous occasions. In April, activists covered the Bank of England in black paint, symbolising fossil fuels, while Extinction Rebellion members clashed with police during ‘Kill the Bill’ protests in early 2021. 

In 2019, the group blocked transport around the British capital, saying the disruption was “necessary to highlight the emergency.” 

Bradbrook, who has a PhD in molecular biophysics, claims the UK and other countries are not doing enough to fight climate change and has urged governments to pay more attention to its cause.

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