UK climate activist arrested after attacks on HSBC and Barclays

by Reuters
Tuesday, 11 May 2021 09:52 GMT

FILE PHOTO: Extinction Rebellion co-founder Gail Bradbrook poses for a photograph in London, Britain, February 11, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

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Members of Extinction Rebellion, a group co-founded by Gail Bradbrook, smashed bank windows in Canary Wharf last month as part of efforts to stop financial institutions funding fossil fuels

(Adds details on fraud allegation, recasts headline)

By Guy Faulconbridge

LONDON, May 11 (Reuters) - British climate activist Gail Bradbrook, co-founder of the Extinction Rebellion group, was arrested at home on Tuesday for conspiracy to cause criminal damage and fraud after her group attacked banks such as HSBC and Barclays.

Activists from the group smashed the window frontage of HSBC and Barclays in Canary Wharf last month and have targeted Lloyd's of London as part of what the activists cast as a "Money Rebellion".

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

The fraud allegation stems from a campaign to use personal credit card debt to make donations to groups allegedly damaged by banks - and then refusing to pay off the debt, a spokeswoman said.

Bradbrook, 49, who has a PhD in molecular biophysics, says Britain and other countries are acting far too slowly to stop devastating climate change and that the Western financial system is fuelling the abuse of the planet.

Extinction Rebellion wants to prompt a wider revolt against the political, economic and social structures of the modern world to avert the worst scenarios of devastation outlined by scientists studying climate change.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, Editing by Paul Sandle and Raissa Kasolowsky)

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