Extinction Rebellion vs Barclays: Crown Court trial begins Tuesday - Extinction Rebellion UK

Extinction Rebellion vs Barclays: Crown Court trial begins Tuesday

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Seven women charged with just over £114k worth of criminal damage at Barclays HQ in Canary Wharf in April 2021 are due to appear at Southwark Crown Court for a jury trial beginning at 2pm on Tuesday November 22nd. If found guilty the women face potential sentences of up to four years in prison. There are currently thirty-one climate activists in prison in the UK. 

This is the eighth Extinction Rebellion case to be heard in a Crown Court, and the first of six upcoming trials for women’s window breaking actions. [1] Of the seven Extinction Rebellion jury trials that have taken place to date, three have resulted in a not guilty verdict. In April 2021, a jury returned a perverse verdict, finding the ‘Shell 7’ not guilty despite the judge advising that five of the defendants had no defense under the law. In the case of the ‘DLR 3’, whose trial took place in December 2019, the jury found them guilty “with regret”. [2]

The women are on trial for an action that took place at 7am on April 7th 2021, during which they cracked the glass in six of the windows of Barclays HQ in Canary Wharf, London. The women wore patches reading ‘better broken windows than broken promises’ and placed stickers on the windows of the bank reading ‘in case of climate emergency break glass’ before cracking the glass using hammers and chisels. [3]

The seven women from Extinction Rebellion sit down in front of Barclays HQ immediately following the action. Photo credit: Gareth Morris. 

All seven women who took part in the action pleaded ‘not guilty’. The trial has been scheduled to run for two weeks, with five of the women self-representing in court: 

  • Annie Rosemary Webster, 64, from Dorchester, a retired grandmother and former chef, estate agent and horticulturalist. 
  • Cazzie Wood, 53, from Swansea, a single mother, Forest School Leader and youth worker. 
  • Gabby Ditton, 28, from Norwich, a full time climate activist and former animator who was caring for her terminally ill mother at the time of the action. 
  • Lucy Porter, 48, from Leeds, a mother and former primary school teacher who is now a full time climate activist. 
  • Niki Stickells, 52, from Norfolk, mother and former Outdoor Earth Education Leader who is now a full time climate activist. 
  • Sophie Cowen, 31, from London, the founder of an ethical banking social enterprise and a former advertising executive. 
  • Zoe Cohen, 52, from Warrington, a self employed executive coach, mother and former NHS employee. 
Zoe Cohen, Gabby Ditton, Cazzie Wood, Annie Rosemary Webster, Sophie Cowen, Niki Stickells and Lucy Porter. Photo credit: Maia Kenworthy

Solicitor Raj Chada at Hodge Jones and Allen, the firm representing two of the seven women, and Extinction Rebellion Co-founder, Dr Gail Bradbrook, will be available for interview. 

Notes to editors 

[1] Extinction Rebellion women’s window breaking actions:

Department for Transport, October 2019: 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/

Barclays, Stroud, March 2021: https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2021/03/30/breaking-extinction-rebellion-co-founder-dr-gail-bradbrook-breaks-window-at-barclays-bank-in-act-of-civil-disobedience/

Barclays HQ, Canary Wharf, London, April 2021: https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2021/04/07/breaking-better-broken-windows-than-broken-promises-extinction-rebellion-women-break-windows-at-barclays-hq-in-canary-wharf/

Barclays, Norwich, April 2021: https://www.edp24.co.uk/news/20655363.extinction-rebellion-protesters-arrested-smashing-barclays-windows/

HSBC HQ, Canary Wharf, London, April 2021: https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2021/04/22/breaking-this-is-an-act-of-care-extinction-rebellion-women-break-windows-at-hsbc-canary-wharf-hq-in-latest-action-to-highlight-the-financing-of-climate-breakdown/

JP Morgan European Office, London, September 2021: https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2021/09/01/in-case-of-climate-emergency-break-glass-extinction-rebellion-women-break-windows-at-worlds-worst-bank-jp-morgan/

[2] Table of Extinction Rebellion Crown Court trials and verdicts to date:

ActionTrial dateVerdictNotes on the verdict
DLR 3December 2019Guilty The jury found the defendants guilty “with regret”
Shell 7 April 2021Not guiltyPerverse verdict
Brazil Embassy July 2021Guilty
James BrownJuly 2021Guilty
Canary Wharf 6December 2021Not guilty
ShadwellJanuary 2022Not guilty
Canning TownMarch 2022GuiltyThe jury asked to read a statement expressing regret at the verdict. 

[3] ‘Better broken windows than broken promises’ – Extinction Rebellion women break windows at Barclays HQ in Canary Wharf: https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2021/04/07/breaking-better-broken-windows-than-broken-promises-extinction-rebellion-women-break-windows-at-barclays-hq-in-canary-wharf/


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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