Barclays bank branches vandalized by pro-Palestinian and climate activists

Barclays bank branches vandalized by pro-Palestinian and climate activists
  • PublishedJune 11, 2024

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Around 20 branches of Barclays have been vandalized by pro-Palestinian and climate activists who said they were protesting against the UK bank’s business dealings in Israel and its funding of polluting industries.

Windows were smashed and red paint was sprayed across buildings, including in London, to “demand the bank divests from Israel’s weapons trade and fossil fuels,” Palestine Action, a pro-Palestinian protest group, said Monday in a statement shared with CNN.

In Edinburgh, rocks inscribed with the names of Palestinians killed in Gaza were thrown through the windows of a Barclays (BCS) branch, according to the statement.

“Frustration with Barclays’ limited progress towards stopping their genocidal and climate-destructive financing has helped spawn this new radical flank of activism,” Palestine Action said. “Targeted actions will continue until Barclays completely eliminates this financing from its business model.”

Shut the System, an environmental activist group, posted several pictures to X Monday — apparently its first activity on the platform — showing badly damaged Barclays branches.

“Shut the System and Palestine Action have taken radical direct action in frustration with Barclays’ paltry progress on changing their climate destroying and genocidal financing,” one post read.

CNN has contacted Shut the System for comment.

A number of pro-Palestinian groups have called for protests against Barclays, alleging that the bank invests billions of dollars in companies linked to Israel’s military.

May 2024 report published by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Campaign Against Arms Trade, and War on Want alleged that Barclays “had shareholdings in, and/or provided loans and financial services to, at least nine companies known to be producing weapons and military technology sold to Israel and used in its militarised attacks on Palestinians.”

A Barclays branch in Croydon, on the outskirts of London, on June 10, 2024.

A Barclays branch in Croydon, on the outskirts of London, on June 10, 2024. Guy Smallman/Getty Images

A spokesperson for Barclays told CNN that it provides “vital financial services to US, UK and European public companies that supply defense products to NATO and its allies,” noting that Barclays does not directly invest in these companies.

“The defense sector is fundamental to our national security and the UK government has been clear that supporting defense companies is compatible with (Environmental, Social and Governance) considerations. Decisions on the implementation of arms embargos to other nations are the job of respective elected governments,” the spokesperson added.

“While we support the right to protest, we ask that campaigners do so in a way which respects our customers, colleagues and property.”

Three men were arrested in connection with criminal damage at a London branch of Barclays on Monday, the City of London Police announced on X.

SOURCE: CNNNEWS

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