Stroud, the gentle Cotswold town that spawned a radical protest
The founders of Extinction Rebellion dismiss claims that it is merely a product of the Gloucestershire town’s middle-class liberal elite
Blimey, that does explain a lot.
Bramwell, who was arrested after gluing himself to revolving doors at the oil giant Shell’s headquarters last week, said the idea for Extinction Rebellion emerged at a weekend gathering of about 17 activists at Bradbrook’s council house on the outskirts of Stroud almost exactly a year ago. “It was in Gail’s living room last April that we decided to go for broke. We decided to throw all of our energy and intelligence at something that could change the planet,” he said over the phone from London, where he is helping to organise further protests for the coming week. Bramwell dismissed suggestions by some newspapers that Extinction Rebellion is a middle-class movement of privileged hippies: “I’m working-class. I have been a builder most of my life and every other job in between. My mum was a nurse, I grew up in a single-parent family. Gail grew up in the north and her father was a miner. She is as working-class as they come – she is just bloody bright.”
Stroud’s an oddity. All the intellectual sophistication of Slad and the economic modernity of Minchinhampton. Allied with the towering civilisation of Gloucester and this isn’t a winning combination.