Police yesterday arrested seven people outside the London headquarters of Barclays PLC after environmentalists broke windows to protest the role of the financial sector in climate change.
The activists from the Extinction Rebellion group used hammers to break the windows and then pasted the message “In Case of Climate Emergency Break Glass” on the front of the bank’s building.
The group said the action was part of its “Money Rebellion” against the capitalist system that used “nonviolent direct action, causing damage to property to prevent and draw attention to greater damage.”
It accused the bank of “continued investments in activities that are directly contributing to the climate and ecological emergency.”
“We have made a commitment to align our entire financing portfolio to the goals of the Paris Agreement, with specific targets and transparent reporting, on the way to achieving our ambition to be a net zero bank by 2050, and help accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy,” a spokesman for Barclays said.
The group’s move against Barclays in the Canary Wharf business district came after protesters last week splashed black dye on the facade of the Bank of England in the City.
“You may dislike our action today, but I ask you to compare a crack in a window to funding wildfires and flooded homes,” said Sophie Cowen, a 30-year-old campaigner from London.
“We took action today because someone needs to raise the alarm, because broken windows are better than broken futures,” she said.
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