The faces behind the Extinction Rebellion climate change chaos

The activists behind the chaos caused by climate change protests this week come from all walks of life - including a failed organic farmer and a baronet's daughter.

Co-founder Simon Bramwell is a former builder who was taken away in a police van on Monday after supergluing himself to the glass door of the Shell HQ in London.

His removal came as 113 people were arrested in the capital by police dealing with the ongoing protests at five landmarks including Waterloo Bridge and Marble Arch.

Also leading the 'XR' group is Gail Bradbrook, a 'neo-pagan' who became an activist as a direct result of taking huge doses of two powerful psychedelic drugs.

Others involved include Tasmin Osmond, who is the granddaughter of baronet Sir Thomas Lees, veteran campaigner Roger Hallam, and ex-UN worker Laura Reeves.

King's post-graduate student George Barda and Stuart Basden, who says prison is like 'boarding school', are also involved in the demonstration of up to 10,000 people.

Here is more about those involved in the protest which is now in its second day: 

Simon Bramwell was taken away in a police van after supergluing himself to the glass door of the Shell HQ in London

One of the directors of private limited company Compassionate Revolution, which has organised and partly financed XR, is Wiltshire mother Gail Bradbrook

Simon Bramwell (left) was taken away in a police van after supergluing himself to the glass door of the Shell HQ in London on Monday. One of the directors of private limited company Compassionate Revolution, which has partly financed XR, is mother Gail Bradbrook (right)

Simon Bramwell, who was seen shouting as he was held by police, is a co-founder of Extinction Rebellion from Stroud, Gloucestershire, and a former builder.

The 46-year-old was part of a 12-strong group of middle class fanatics who admitted bringing the M4 and A4 to a standstill by lying down on a stretch of the motorway.

He was sentenced in 2016 over the protest against the expansion of Heathrow. He has been repeatedly arrested for climate change and anti-fracking protests.

The bush craft instructor says 'hearing less birds in our beautiful countryside' - where he goes off the grid for up to 19 days at a time - convinced him to help form 'XR'. 

He wanted a 'punchier' eco-movement where people were willing to be arrested to be heard instead of just 'playing it safe' and failing to get their message across.

Mr Bramwell glued himself to the Shell HQ glass door as part of the protests on Monday

Mr Bramwell glued himself to the Shell HQ glass door as part of the protests on Monday

One of the directors of private limited company Compassionate Revolution, which has organised and partly financed XR, is Wiltshire mother Gail Bradbrook, 47.

The 'neo-pagan' said on a recent podcast that she decided to become an activist as a direct result of taking huge doses of two powerful psychedelic drugs.

Ms Bradbrook, who has two sons aged ten and 13, flew to Costa Rica a few years ago to take a dose of ibogaine, a hallucinogenic shrub growing in West Africa. 

The mother, who has a PhD in molecular biophysics, also tried ayahuasca, a highly toxic, mind-bending potion made by Amazon jungle shamans. 

She said the drugs 'rewired' her brain and gave her 'the codes of social change'. Afterwards, she ended her marriage and began her activism in XR. 

Dr Bradbrook appeared on ITV's Good Morning Britain where she told of fears for her children

Dr Bradbrook appeared on ITV's Good Morning Britain where she told of fears for her children

Within XR, she holds mystic 'moon circles' with female colleagues inside a tepee, at which they ingest another 'natural' drug, mugwort, used by ancient Celts.

Ms Bradbrook has warned that warming in the Arctic is likely to cause 'the collapse of the food system' in just three years – a belief no scientist would endorse.

She has also said she 'does not condemn' protesters who 'choose to damage property in order to protect nature', although she personally prefers non-violence.

Speaking on ITV today, she looked close to tears as she spoke emotionally about the impact of climate change and fears her children would be left with nothing to eat.

She told of Sir David Attenborough's fears over civilisation, but Good Morning Britain host Richard Madeley interrupted her to say he is 'not a saint, just a broadcaster'.  

Tasmin Osmond, 35, is a veteran of ‘direct actions’

The most prominent – and radical – of the XR leaders is failed organic farmer and PhD student Roger Hallam

Tasmin Osmond (left), 35, is a veteran of 'direct actions', while Roger Hallam (right), 52, is a veteran demonstrator who is researching a PhD in effective radical campaigning

Also involved is Tasmin Osmond, 35, a veteran of 'direct actions' such as Occupy London, the poverty protest which set up a camp outside St Paul's cathedral in 2011.

The granddaughter of Dorset baronet Sir Thomas Lees, Omond went to Westminster School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where she read English.

Who are Extinction Rebellion and how are they funded? 

Extinction Rebellion grew out of the activist group 'Rising Up!' which unsuccessfully tried to stop the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

Established in Britain in May 2018, the group has been organised and partly financed by a private limited company called Compassionate Revolution.

Its financial support comes from philanthropic foundations and crowdfunding - with an online campaign having raised £166,000 since launching in October.

XR now has more than 100 groups across Britain alone, with up to 10,000 supporters drawn to the protests in London this week.

It has groups in dozens of countries including South Africa, India and even the Solomon Islands - with the latest campaign involving people in at least 80 cities in more than 33 countries.

Last November, the group held a protest which blocked bridges across London to bring chaos to the capital.

In February, they took part in a UK-wide school strike and on April 1, during one of the Brexit debates, a group of their protesters stripped off in the House of Commons.

Ms Osmond was thrown out of anti-aviation group Plane Stupid after saying the green movement 'brand' was 'unwashed, unshaven and up a tree'.

Another of the founders of Extinction Rebellion is Roger Hallam, 52, a veteran demonstrator who is researching a PhD in effective radical campaigning. 

He became interested in climate change in his 40s when an organic farm he ran in Wales went bankrupt because of extreme weather conditions.

Mr Hallam went on hunger strike in 2017 to demand King's College London stop investing in fossil fuels. 

His stated ambition for the group is to 'bring down all the regimes in the world and replace them', starting with Britain. 

In a recent video on YouTube, he said protesters should be ready to cause disruption through personal 'sacrifice'. If necessary, they 'should be willing to die'.

Mr Hallam said in the past: 'You need about 400 to go to prison and you need two to three thousand people to get arrested.' 

But on Monday, he insisted: 'No-one wants to get arrested. I want to get back to my farm. I'm just a poor farmer, nothing special.'

He added: 'We aren't throwing stones or shouting. People are coming in to central London and sitting down. We are causing disruption and it's justified.' 

Mr Hallam has also claimed paralysing traffic will eventually cause food shortages and trigger uprisings. 

XR co-founder Stuart Basden, 36, a middle-class writer from Bristol

George Barda, 43, believes the 'Criminal UK Government' is to blame for climate change

XR co-founder Stuart Basden (left), 36, a middle-class writer from Bristol, while George Barda (right), 43, believes the 'Criminal UK Government'

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