A FOUNDER of the Extinction Rebellion eco-protests has been accused of “blind hypocrisy” after it was revealed she jetted to Central America for a luxury break despite leading calls for a “rapid reduction” in air travel.
Gail Bradbrook clocked up 11,000 air miles as she flew to Costa Rica for a week’s £2,500 stay at the New Life Iboga retreat then a week touring the tropical paradise.
Dr Gail Bradbrook gives a speech during April’s Extinction Rebellion street protest[/caption]
Thousands of protesters brought the capital to a standstill last week as they blocked roads and bridges, forcing ambulances to be diverted and causing mayhem for motorists. Some protesters handcuffed themselves to cars or glued themselves to government buildings. Activists occupied London City Airport and militant vegan offshoot Animal Rebellion took over Smithfield Meat Market.
The activists caused more chaos in London — and the mayhem is set to continue this week. The leftie XR group is calling for a reduction in air travel and wants the Government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
Yet Bradbrook, who has posted about the need to ground aircraft, proudly put pictures on Facebook during her 2016 Costa Rica jaunt — which left a carbon footprint of 2.6TONNES of CO2 emissions. One photo was of her in a flowery dress at the beach taking snaps of monkeys.
She revealed that her holiday of self-discovery included taking hallucinogenic drugs that inspired her calling “to get with the spirit of the otter”.
And she said it was “filled with nature and the warm sea”, cooing over lizards, iguanas, birds that “nick your breakfast” and monkeys that “smash mangoes on the roofs”. She also gushed that she wanted to use her visit to “express my most passionate self” in “the most filthiest, animal way”.
Bradbrook said she contacted a spirit known as Grandmother Ayahuasca and got a “kick up the a*** on negative habits”.
“Just like their Corbynista backers, they say one thing and do another. And as we’ve seen already, they are more interested in creating a scene than offering solutions — all at taxpayers’ expense. Only Boris Johnson and the Conservatives are taking world-leading action on climate change. We have reduced emissions by a quarter since coming to office in 2010, the fastest reduction by any G20 nation, and boosted renewables to record levels.”
The Extinction Rebellion protest that caused disruption and delays at London City Airport[/caption]
Bradbrook championed the Keep It Grounded “mass civil disobedience” campaign at City Airport last week. Her XR army also joined with the Plane Truth Procession to protest outside the World Aviation Festival in Islington, North London, last month.
Ahead of the event, the XR website proclaimed: “Scientists make it crystal clear that without rapid reduction of passenger numbers and flights, the goal of limiting global heating cannot be achieved.”
XR adds: “The UK aviation industry is aiming for growth beyond any conceived plan to reach UK net-zero emissions.
“Every flight piles more pressure on other industries to achieve further reductions, or on unproven technologies to save us in future. One of the greatest beneficial environmental impacts we can have as individuals is to reduce the number of flights we take.”
Twice-married Bradbrook, who has been repeatedly arrested by police at protests, revealed last month how on her Costa Rica break she took West African hallucinogenic shrub ibogaine. She claimed it “rewired” her brain, giving her “the codes of social change”.
She added that she had undergone a “mystical experience” — explaining: “I lay down and a voice that felt very external to me said, ‘Gail, you create your own reality’. When I got home I ended a marriage and separated my family. It was a huge decision but it was the right thing to do.”
Bradbrook, a consultant who has two grown-up sons and lives in a council house in Stroud, Gloucs, added: “I’d been focused on trying to start civil disobedience since 2010. I’d tried many things and they hadn’t worked. So I went on a retreat and prayed, with some psychedelic medicines. It was really intense and I prayed for what I called the codes for social change and within a month my prayer was answered.”
XR blockades have caused widespread disruption in the capital since the campaign’s birth, including shutting off five bridges. In April protesters occupied high-profile London sites including Piccadilly Circus and Parliament Square, causing rush-hour misery for commuters. It led Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick to call on campaigners to either “protest lawfully or go home”.
Ms Dick also added that officers who had been drafted in were usually dedicated instead to fighting knife crime or protecting children. In the past week police forces from around the country have been called into action to help out the Met. At the same time in the capital there have been several stabbings, including the death of a 15-year-old boy in Stratford, East London, on Thursday.
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Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch — who has taken part in car ads — joined XR activists at their makeshift campsite in central London on Tuesday, spending around two hours there. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn praised XR for “educating us”.
Animal rights protesters claimed yesterday there had been “mass arrests” after they demonstrated at Billingsgate Fish Market in East London in the early hours. The Met was unable to confirm any arrests.
Scotland Yard’s latest figures show 1,307 arrests have been made in connection with the London protests this week. The Sun told how police claimed some protesters were hiding nails and blades in “lock-in” tubes in a bid to make them harder to remove.
Extinction Rebellion founder Bradbrook has been blasted for her ‘blind hypocrisy’ by Tory MP Paul Scully[/caption]
An Extinction Rebellion, James Brown, 55, activist glued himself to a British Airways plane at London City Airport[/caption]
While Gail Brabrook is happy to use jet travel, her supporters blocked access to travellers attempting to reach London City Airport via rail links[/caption]
Princess held as cells fill
A BELGIAN princess was among Extinction Rebellion activists arrested in London this week.
Princess Esmeralda Dereth says she was put in a police van during a sit-in protest at Trafalgar Square on Thursday then held for five hours.
The royal, 63, daughter of the late King Leopold III of Belgium, tweeted: “Today, along with many other protesters, I was arrested and put in police custody. The climate emergency calls on all of us to put pressure on governments to act with urgency.”
She told a Belgian newspaper: “The more people from all sections of society protest, the greater the impact will be.”
A police note titled “released under investigation” contained the Princess’s £6million address in North West London.
It also said an officer might need to speak with her again.
The Sun on Sunday has seen a leaflet given to XR activists advising them not to answer questions from cops if they are arrested.
The group’s aim is to get protesters charged rather than bailed.
That would mean that cops run out of police cells and the legal system would get clogged up.
The “legal guidance” leaflets urge them not to give out any details after arrest.
They are told they do not have to provide personal information and should ask “What power?” when they are being challenged by officers.
A source for XR said: “Members don’t want to incriminate themselves. But the plan is certainly to get the cells full.
“They’re not going to willingly provide their details. We want to be in a position where the police have to tell government that they can’t cope.”
It follows reports that around 1,000 people could be charged following the group’s protests in April.
The Met Police said in May it wanted to push for all 1,151 arrests to face charges.
Solicitor Raj Chada, from Hodge Jones and Allen solicitors said prosecuting for peaceful protest “beggars belief”.
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