‘How many bankers were arrested yesterday?’ – XR Co-founder released under investigation for fraud and conspiracy to cause criminal damage
May 12, 2021 by Extinction Rebellion
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Extinction Rebellion co-founder Dr. Gail Bradbrook was arrested at her home in Stroud at around 5:30 AM on Tuesday, 11 May, and released under investigation later the same day.  She was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police for conspiracy to cause criminal damage following a Suffragettes-inspired window-breaking at her local Barclays branch, and fraud in relation to the Repair Harm debt strike, which donates Barclaycard debt as reparations to those tending to the effects of climate devastation.  Both protests are Money Rebellion actions to spotlight Barclay’s deadly investments in environmentally destructive industries. 
Dr. Bradbrook explained: “The Prime Minister himself has championed acts of civil disobedience, like his pledge to lie in front of bulldozers to stop Heathrow expansion or declaring that he’d eat a compulsory ID card in protest because ‘extremism in the defence of liberty is no vice’. Even the Home Secretary has celebrated the Suffragettes. The methods can’t be what is bothering the banks and government—I think it’s the message. They are the criminals, they are the guilty ones; like others, I am a conscientious protector, as the highest law asks us to protect life on Earth.” 
Fellow citizens seem to agree, particularly the jury who recently ignored a judge’s orders and acquitted six XR activists for spraying graffiti and breaking windows at a Shell building.  A January survey found public opinion to be firmly on the side of environmental justice, as ‘60% of UK voters [think the] UK should strive to be a global leader on climate action.’  It certainly makes sense, then, that a government that’s lost legitimacy by failing to be the climate leader both its people and the international community expect of a COP26 host would want to sharply silence those demanding ethical climate action. 
But the steep rise in State hostility against peaceful activists is more than mere embarrassment, as there are reports of a wider anti-democratic campaign that is concentrating influence and profit so the desires of a few wealthy donors are satisfied instead of the needs of the country, people, and planet.  The UK already has a history of police and government overreach and abuse of protestors, but now it’s taking lessons in social control from pro-Trump hate groups.  This accelerating authoritarianism threatens democracy, from listing justice-focussed groups like BLM and XR as ‘terrorist organisations’, to harassing nonviolent activists with pointless investigations into far-left ‘violent’ extremism, appointing cronies to important media posts and giving powerful media men access to and influence over politicians, and introducing overly-strict anti-protest laws that could imprison a person who’s only blocked a road for a longer sentence than a convicted sex offender—all at massive taxpayer expense. 
Dr. Bradbrook said: “The corruption of the banks, finance system and wider political economy are responsible for killing life on earth. Not only do they fund fossil fuels, industrial animal agriculture, and biodiversity-wrecking projects, they continue to be involved in mass corruption, fraud, and scandal—the FinCEN files being the most recent, but also LuxLeaks, the Panama Papers, PPI fraud, the rigging of Libor, wholesale tax-dodging and supporting offshore finance that nearly brought down the global economy, the list goes on. I owe Barclays bank about 70 quid. I gave the money to Survival International to help repair the harm of that bank. How many banksters got arrested yesterday?” 28]30]
Notes to editors
 Extinction Rebellion UK (website)
 Better Broken Windows than Broken Promises (XR UK YouTube, 2021)
 Money Rebellion (website)
 Banking on Climate Chaos (Rainforest Action Network, 2021)
 Councillor recalls PM’s pledge to lie in front of Heathrow expansion bulldozers (Belfast Telegraph, 2020)
 Ask to see my ID card and I’ll eat it (Telegraph, 2004)
 Poll: Two-thirds of adults believe UK government should do more to combat climate change (Business Green, 2021)
 Norway, the UK and Canada are not climate champions. They are climate hypocrites (CNN Philippines, 2021)
 Draconian bills seek to massively expand Johnson’s executive power (Politics, 2021)
 Britain’s Democratic Fabric is Being Eroded by Boris Johnson’s Government (Human Rights Watch, 2020)
[15 ] Revealed: The elite dining club behind £130m+ donations to the Tories (Open Democracy, 2019)
 The sexual assault faced by the Suffragettes (Politics, 2018)
 Secrets and lies: untangling the UK ‘spy cops’ scandal (Guardian, 2020)
 The bloody clash that changed Britain | Protest (Guardian, 2018)
 New Government Counter-Extremism Chief’s Ties to Pro-Trump Hate Groups (Byline Times, 2021)
 Police Scotland sent out guide listing Extinction Rebellion with neo-Nazis (Guardian, 2020)
 Boris Johnson’s probe into left-wing “extremism” is a dangerous distraction from the fascist threat (New Statesman, 2021)
 New BBC Chairman has Donated Over £400,000 to the Conservative Party (Byline Times, 2021)
 Rupert Murdoch in Series of Meetings With Boris Johnson and High-Profile Ministers (Byline Times, 2021)
 ‘Assault on our rights’: new justice bill threatens clampdown on protest and ‘runaway’ sentence inflation (The Justice Gap, 2021)
 An Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales (UK Gov, 2013)
 The City of London, home of coal finance (Banktrack, 2021)
 CITY OF COAL (Reclaim Finance, 2021)
 UK Spending 32 Times More On Fossil Fuels Than Renewables: New Report (Forbes, 2020)
 Economic Growth is the Cause of Climate Change, Not the Solution to It – CounterPunch.org (CounterPunch, 2021)
 Big Ag Is Sabotaging Progress on Climate Change (Wired, 2019)
 THE BANKING SECTOR’S ROLE IN THE GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY CRISIS (Portfolio, 2021)
 The political economy of corruption (The Standard, 2020)
 LuxLeaks: Luxembourg’s response to an international tax scandal (Financial Times, 2017)
 The Panama Papers: Exposing the Rogue Offshore Finance Industry (ICIJ, 2021)
 PPI In Numbers: A Look At The Scale Of Britain’s $59 Billion Consumer Scandal (Forbes, 2019)
 The State of Tax Justice 2020 (Tax Justice Network, 2020)
 UK by far the biggest enabler of global corporate tax dodging, groundbreaking research finds (Independent, 2019)
 Survival International (website)
 XR Money Rebellion – Tackling the Root of the Problem (XR UK YouTube, 2020)
 Join Money Rebellion (website)
ABOUT EXTINCTION REBELLION
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:
- Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
- Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
- Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
- In the UK, come to one of our events, join the Rebellion Network and let us know how you can help out.
- Start a group where you are: in the UK or around the world.
- Find your local group.
- Check out the International XR website, with links to the French, German, Italian and UK websites.
- And while your time and energy are of most importance, if you are financially able to donate money, see our crowdfunder.
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.