Barclays bank branches vandalized by pro-Palestinian and climate activists


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

Windows were smashed and red paint was sprayed on buildings, including in London, to “demand that the bank withdraw from the Israeli arms trade and fossil fuels,” Palestine Action, a pro-Palestinian protest group, said in a statement shared with CNN.

In Edinburgh, stones bearing the names of Palestinians murdered in Gaza were thrown through the windows of a Barclays.B.C.S) branch, according to the statement.

“Frustration over Barclays’ limited progress in stopping their genocidal and climate-destroying financing has helped give rise to 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 photos on X On Monday – apparently the first activity on the platform – badly damaged Barclays branches could be seen.

“Shut the System and Palestine Action have taken radical direct action in frustration at Barclays’ paltry progress in changing their climate-destroying and genocidal financing,” a report said.

CNN has contacted Shut the System for comment.

A number of pro-Palestinian groups have called for protests against Barclays, claiming the bank invests billions of dollars in companies linked to the Israeli military.

a Report May 2024 published by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Campaign Against Arms Trade and War on Want alleged that Barclays “had shares in and/or provided loans and financial services to at least nine companies known to produce weapons and military technology sold to Israel and used in his militarized attacks on Palestinians.”

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

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 essential financial services to US, UK and European government companies that supply defense products to NATO and its allies,” noting that Barclays does not invest directly in these companies.

“The defense sector is fundamental to our national security and the UK Government has made it clear that supporting defense companies is compatible with environmental, social and governance considerations. Decisions on the implementation of arms embargoes against other countries are the responsibility of the respective elected governments,” the spokesperson added.

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

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

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