Extinction Rebellion co-founder Dr Gail Bradbrook breaks window at Barclays Bank in act of civil disobedience - Extinction Rebellion UK

Extinction Rebellion co-founder Dr Gail Bradbrook breaks window at Barclays Bank in act of civil disobedience

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Dr Gail Bradbrook, one of the founders of Extinction Rebellion broke the window of Barclays Bank in Stroud at around 6am this morning. The action was carried out carefully before opening hours in order to reduce any risk of harm. Dr Bradbrook is already awaiting trial for alleged criminal damage at the Department for Transport in October 2019. [1]

The action is part of XR’s Money Rebellion, [2] which draws on a history of civil disobedience using window breaking and seeks to expose the role of banks in the climate and ecological crisis alongside the wider issues in the current political economy. [3]

Dr Bradbrook said: “Our leaders are not pushing for rapid action, they are ignoring the science– targets are inadequate and aren’t being met. We are on a path towards the collapse of our civilisation –with billions dying in our children’s lifetimes, according to some scientists. Those who are failing to lead adequate action on the climate and ecological crisis are committing Crimes Against Humanity.”

With reference to a similar quote from Sylvia Pankhurst she added: “Let it be the windows of the banks that are broken not the life support systems of the earth and our children’s future. Let it be the windows of this failed system that are broken not our family across the world”.

In a short film Dr Gail Bradbrook explains her reasons for taking action:

Barclays’ investments in fossil fuels and biodiversity loss amount to billions, and it is argued that their actions are helping to drive the climate and ecological emergency. Barclays are the biggest funders of fossil fuels in Europe, financing fracking, coal, and Arctic oil and gas extraction. Between 2016, when the Paris climate agreement was signed, and 2019, they poured more than $118bn into fossil fuels, and in 2019, they were the worst bank for fossil fuels in the Arctic. [4] 

Today’s action also puts a spotlight on Barclay’s role in funding industrial animal agriculture, which is a leading cause of biodiversity loss, greenhouse gas emissions, and air and water pollution. Barclays are one of the main creditors of Cargill, North America’s largest beef processor with a footprint of worldwide environmental degradation and animal and labour exploitation. [5] The main cause of Amazon deforestation (accounting for around 80%) is cattle ranching and soy production. [6]

Barclays has also been implicated in various tax dodging scandals [7]. Tax dodging is believed to make it harder for all countries, especially those in the global south, to finance the transition to a green economy and support measures such as the education of women and girls. Tax dodging costs the world’s tax authorities the equivalent of an annual nurse’s salary every second and is considered a form of neo-colonialism. [8]

The action demands are that the banks:

1. Tell the truth by fully disclosing their social, climate and ecological impacts whilst highlighting that such destructive behaviour is incentivised by our current political economy.
2. Act now to stop financing and enabling destruction in the shortest possible time frame and ends the:

  • Financing of fossil fuels and industrial animal agriculture.
  •  Financing of other projects that destroy habitats and tear apart the communities of indigenous people.
  • Participation in the offshore finance industry which enables tax dodging.

3. Champion Citizens’ Assemblies at all key levels, including the global, with mandates to design a regenerative political economy in service to all people and life on earth.

Notes to editors

Images from the action, credit Simon Holliday: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/p3mkx3gt2t4d1sn/AACG3CdKweT489rHkQ4T4VM9a?dl=0

[1] Extinction Rebellion disrupt UKs Department for Transport – where is the plan to meet a net zero target and halt biodiversity loss??​​​​​​​:https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2019/10/15/extinction-rebellion-disrupt-uks-department-for-transport-where-is-the-plan-to-meet-a-net-zero-target-and-halt-biodiversity-loss/

[2] Money Rebellion: https://extinctionrebellion.uk/act-now/resources/money-rebellion/

[3] Governments and firms in 28 countries sued over climate crisis – report​​​​​: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/04/governments-and-firms-28-countries-sued-climate-crisis-report​​​​​​

[4] Banking on Climate Change: Fossil Fuel Finance Report 2020: https://www.ran.org/bankingonclimatechange2020/

[5] Cargill: The worst company in the world, Mighty Earth, 2019: https://stories.mightyearth.org/cargill-worst-company-in-the-world/

[6] Investing in Amazon crude: The Network of Global Financiers and Oil Companies Driving the Amazon Toward Collapse, Amazon Watch, 2020: https://amazonwatch.org/news/2020/0312-investing-in-amazon-crude

[7] Barclays and HSBC shares fall after reports of alleged suspicious transfers: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/sep/21/barclays-hsbc-shares-standard-chartered

[8] $427bn lost to tax havens every year: landmark study reveals countries’ losses and worst offenders (Tax Justice Network 2020)


Money Rebellion Promo Video by Climate Compass | Money Rebellion Talk  | YouTube  | FAQ’s 


Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and increasingly rapid climate change. If urgent and radical action isn’t taken, we’re heading towards 4˚C warming, and the societal collapse and mass loss of life that that implies. The younger generation, racially marginalised communities and the Global South are on the front-line. No-one will escape the devastating impacts.

Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.

Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:

  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

What Emergency? | Extinction Rebellion in Numbers |This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook 

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About Rising Up!

Extinction Rebellion emerged from the Rising Up! network, which promotes a fundamental change of our political and economic system to one which maximises well-being and minimises harm. Change needs to be nurtured in a culture of reverence, gratitude and inclusion while the tools of civil disobedience and direct action are used to express our collective power.

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