Extinction Rebellion’s summer protests have been gaining traction over the past few days, but little is known about the people behind the movement. The group claims not to have a formal leader or hierarchy, but that in some ways masks the people with real influence within the organisation.
As a result, we decided to look at some of the key figures behind the global movement.
Roger Hallam: Co-founder
Roger Hallam is one of the founders the activist group.
Formerly an organic farmer, he became politically active during his time as a Civil Disobedience PhD student at King’s College London. In 2017, while studying for the doctorate, he spray-painted university buildings and went on a two-week hunger strike to persuade King’s to divest from fossil fuels. He was taken to court for criminal damage but was cleared of all charges.
He also stood as an MEP in May’s elections as part of the Climate and Ecological Emergency Independents, hoping to push climate change up the European Union’s agenda. However, he received fewer than 1,000 votes in the London region.
Gail Bradbrook: Co-founder
Along with Hallam and George Barda, Bradbrook is a director of the company, Compassionate Revolution, which has organised and partly financed Extinction Rebellion.
She used to work in animal rights and economic justice movements. Her father was a miner. Following a move to London after time in Costa Rica, she met Hallam. Together, they studied protesting techniques to bring about change and they worked behind the scenes to form the structures that would become Extinction Rebellion.
Simon Bramwell: Co-founder
Bramwell, the partner of Bradbrook, is another co-founder of the movement. A former bush craft instructor and builder, he was sentenced in 2016 over protesting against the expansion of Heathrow and has been arrested for climate change and anti-fracking protests.
Tamsin Omond: Co-founder
Tamsin Omond is an author, environmental activist and journalist. She has written a book called Rush – The Making of a Climate Activist and used to be a campaigner for Plane Stupid – an environmental group that protests against airport expansion.
As well as her work with Extinction Rebellion, she is a founding member of activist group Climate Rush and previously stood for election as a Green Party candidate.
Stuart Basden: Co-founder
Stuart Basden is one of the 15 people to have worked with XR since its inception. He quit his job to work for the movement full time, living off his savings. He says that Extinction Rebellion is a protest about how society is structured and run – not just about the environment.