A group of seven women carefully hit the glass with hammers and chisels to avoid hurting bank staff, fellow activists and passersby. They then sat down next to the broken windows and waited to be arrested.
“Extinction Rebellion are entitled to their view on capitalism and climate change, but we would ask that in expressing that view they stop short of behaviour which involves criminal damage to our facilities and puts people’s safety at risk,” a spokesperson for Barclays told Proactive.
The protest is part of the ‘Money Rebellion’ campaign against the bank’s investments in activities that are directly contributing to climate change.
On 7th of April, at 7am, 7 women from #ExtinctionRebellion carefully broke glass @BarclaysUK HQ in Canary Wharf, to call on the bank to stop financing the #ClimateCrisis. The group wore suffrage movement colours, and patches saying ‘better broken windows than broken promises’. pic.twitter.com/YMGdCGfrdZ
— Extinction Rebellion UK ???? (@XRebellionUK) April 7, 2021
The environmental group said Barclays will not meet the goals set by the Paris Climate Agreement.
A report published in March this year said Barclays was Europe’s largest fossil bank, in the 7th place globally.
The bank decreased spending on fossil fuels, as it facilitated US$27.702bn in 2020 compared to US$30.353bn in 2019, but it was the largest non-US banker of fracking, having increased its financing in fracking by 24% compared to 2019. It was also one of the biggest non-Chinese funders of coal power in the world.
A Barclays spokesperson told Proactive the group has made “a commitment to align our entire financing portfolio to the goals of the Paris Agreement”.
XR said that the women who took action at Barclays HQ today wore the colours of the suffrage movement – which inspired this action – to highlight the disproportionate impact the climate and ecological emergency is likely to have on women, particularly poor women, BIPOC women and women in the global south.
Shares in the FTSE 100 firm rose 2% to 189.32p on Wednesday morning.
–Adds Barclays statement, detail–