Jump to content

Gail Bradbrook

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gail Bradbrook
Bradbrook in 2018
Gail Marie Bradbrook

(1972-04-30) 30 April 1972 (age 52)
Hemsworth, West Yorkshire, England[1]
Alma materUniversity of Manchester
Known forCo-founder of Extinction Rebellion
SpouseJeff Forshaw (div.)

Gail Marie Bradbrook (born 30 April 1972) is a British environmental activist and molecular biophysicist who co-founded the environmental social movement Extinction Rebellion.[2][3][4]

Early life and career[edit]

Bradbrook was born in 1972 and grew up in South Elmsall in West Yorkshire. Her father worked at a mine in South Kirkby. She studied molecular biophysics at the University of Manchester, gaining a PhD. She carried out postdoctoral work in India and France.[2][5]

From 2003 to 2017 she was 'director of strategy' at Citizens Online, an organisation promoting wider internet access for disabled users, including launching a 'Fix the Web' campaign in November 2010.[6]


An interest in animal rights led Bradbrook to join the Green Party at the age of 14.[7]

She has been involved in various campaigning groups in Stroud, including a 2010 to 2013 period as voluntary director of Transition Stroud,[8][9] an anti-fracking protest,[10] various actions in opposition to the building of a local incinerator,[11][12] including a naked protest,[13] and an early Extinction Rebellion roadblock in Merrywalks, Stroud.[14] In 2015, with George Barda, she set up the group Compassionate Revolution[15][16][17] (which morphed into Rising Up!, out of which came Extinction Rebellion).[5] "Bradbrook had been involved in the Occupy movement and campaigns around peak oil, but they failed to take off."[18]

In 2016, she went on a psychedelic retreat to Costa Rica, "where she took ayahuasca, iboga and kambo, in search of some clarity in her work."[18][19] That experience "made her change her approach" to campaigning.[19] Soon after returning she met Roger Hallam and together they came up with Extinction Rebellion.[18][19]

Bradbrook wants to raise awareness of the dangers from anthropogenic climate change and believes that only civil disobedience on a large scale can bring about the change that is needed.[20]

In November 2020 she was included in the BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour Power list 2020.[21]

In August 2021, Bradbrook acknowledged that she drives a 1.5l Citroen diesel car. She said she could not afford an electric car and she needed the vehicle to drive her children to sports matches.[22][23]

Personal life[edit]

Bradbrook has been married twice, the first time to Jeffrey Forshaw.[24] She has two sons.[5][25] She lives in Stroud as does her ex-partner Simon Bramwell, who is also a co-founder of Extinction Rebellion.[26][27]

Court Proceedings and Sentencing[edit]

On 2 November 2023, after a three-day trial, [28] Bradbrook was found guilty of criminal damage, for breaking a pane of reinforced security glass at the Department for Transport, costing £27,660, in protest against HS2. Convicted by a jury at Isleworth Crown Court, Bradbrook acknowledged her actions and the lack of a lawful excuse as argued by the prosecution, but she stood by her motivations for environmental advocacy. The judge maintained the trial focused on the illegal act, not the wider climate issues. Bradbrook, who represented herself, argued her protest was peaceful and necessary after other advocacy methods failed. At Isleworth Crown Court in West London on 18 December 2023, Bradbrook was given a 15-month suspended sentence, with 150 hours of unpaid work and a year-long supervision order.[29]


  • Gail Bradbrook (2019). "What is our place in these times?". In Extinction Rebellion (ed.). This Is Not a Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook. Penguin Books. pp. 185–186. ISBN 9780141991443.


  1. ^ England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916–2007
  2. ^ a b Billen, Andrew. "Extinction Rebellion founder Gail Bradbrook: 'We're making people's lives miserable but they are talking about the issues'". The Times. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  3. ^ Knight, Sam (21 July 2019). "Does Extinction Rebellion Have the Solution to the Climate Crisis?". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 22 September 2019 – via www.newyorker.com.
  4. ^ Taylor, Matthew (26 October 2018). "'We have a duty to act': hundreds ready to go to jail over climate crisis". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Coles, Mark; Gregorius, Arlene (15 December 2018). "Profile – Dr Gail Bradbrook". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  6. ^ "Call to fix 'inaccessible' sites". BBC News. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  7. ^ Butter, Susannah (23 July 2019). "Extinction Rebellion's co-founder on bringing London to a standstill". Evening Standard. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  8. ^ Warne, Chris (25 June 2013). "Transition Stroud awarded £10,000 of Lottery funding". Stroud News and Journal. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  9. ^ "Gail Marie BRADBROOK – Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  10. ^ Bisknell, Eddie (6 May 2017). "PICTURES: Anti-fracking protesters spray paint Barclays bank in Stroud". Stroud News and Journal. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  11. ^ Temple, Victoria (21 August 2017). "Sofa protesters plan second night outside despite police warnings". gloucestershirelive. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  12. ^ "CPS drop case against anti-incinerator activists". Stroud News and Journal. 22 March 2018. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  13. ^ Bass, Matt (5 July 2017). "Naked protest at Shire Hall against the Javelin Park incinerator decision". Stroud News and Journal. Retrieved 18 December 2018. "History shows us that on some occasions people are only listened to, by those who are supposed to be acting in our best interests, when they resort to civil disobedience."
  14. ^ Stilliard, Ed (20 October 2018). "Eco activists cause traffic misery in Stroud through protest". gloucestershirelive. Retrieved 18 December 2018. "For those who think what we are saying or doing is extreme, yes it is and it is also real. I urge you to look at the science and verify how bad things are. I am not willing keep my head in the sand and leave my children with such a catastrophic mess. If I have to go to jail so be it."
  15. ^ Wiseman, Jamie (22 June 2015). "New online political venture the Compassionate Revolution to be launched in Stroud". Stroud News and Journal. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  16. ^ Richardson, Peter (30 June 2015). "Compassionate Revolution Launch Event Highlights". Stroud Community TV. Archived from the original on 18 December 2018. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Compassionate Revolution – Pledge collective acts of art, heart, and civil disobedience". Wayback Machine. 15 October 2015. Archived from the original on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
  18. ^ a b c "Does Extinction Rebellion Have the Solution to the Climate Crisis?". The New Yorker. 21 July 2019. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  19. ^ a b c "Extinction Rebellion's co-founder on bringing London to a standstill". Evening Standard. 23 July 2019. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  20. ^ Royden, Derek (30 November 2018). "Mobilizing against extinction". NationofChange. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  21. ^ "Woman's Hour Power List 2020: The List". BBC Radio4. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  22. ^ "Extinction Rebellion founder admits she drives a diesel car". The Telegraph. 24 August 2021. Retrieved 25 August 2021.
  23. ^ Malvern, Jack (7 July 2023). "Extinction Rebellion founder 'a hypocrite' for buying imported fruit and driving diesel car". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  24. ^ Billen, Andrew (19 April 2019). "Extinction Rebellion founder Gail Bradbrook: 'We're making people's lives miserable but they are talking about the issues'". The Times. She married another academic, Jeff Forshaw
  25. ^ Milburn, Ella (21 November 2018). "Britain's New Climate Change Protesters Are Desperate to Get Arrested". Vice. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  26. ^ Scott Cato, Molly (20 November 2018). "I'm an MEP who helped block London's bridges to protest climate change. There is more civil disobedience to come". i news. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  27. ^ Wall, Tom (20 April 2019). "Stroud, the gentle Cotswold town that spawned a radical protest". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  28. ^ "XR founder convicted after four-year legal saga". BBC News. November 2023.
  29. ^ "XR co-founder who broke window at HS2 protest given suspended sentence". The Guardian. 18 December 2023. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 7 June 2024.

External links[edit]