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Climate Activists Smash Barclays HQ Windows To Protest Capitalism’s Role In Climate Change

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Topline

Seven activists from London-based climate movement Extinction Rebellion were arrested Wednesday morning after using hammers to break windows at Barclays’ London headquarters, one of the U.K.’s largest banks, as part of the group’s ongoing “Money Rebellion” campaign to highlight the role the financial sector plays in fueling the climate crisis. 

Key Facts

Activists from the Extinction Rebellion group used hammers and chisels to break windows at Barclays Bank’s global headquarters in London Wednesday to protest the bank’s “continued investments in activities that are directly contributing to the climate and ecological emergency.”

The seven women wore patches saying “Better Broken Windows Than Broken Promises” and wore colors of the suffrage movement to highlight the “disproportionate impact” the climate emergency is likely to have on women around the world, the group said in a blog post. 

The group also placed stickers on the building, which read: “In Case of Climate Emergency Break Glass.”

The action, which follows protests at the Bank of England and high street banks last week, is a part of the group’s “Money Rebellion” campaign to highlight the roles capitalism and the financial sector play in fueling the climate emergency.

Forbes has reached out to Barclays for comment. 

Key Background

Extinction Rebellion is one of the more active arms of the global climate movement and its highly disruptive, though non-violent, means have proven divisive. Protestors shut down dozens of cities around the world in 2019 to underscore the urgency of the climate crisis, including covering Wall Street’s “Charging Bull” in blood, blocking one of London’s busiest streets with a large pink boat, and blocking a major roundabout in Berlin.

Big Number

$3.8 trillion. This is how much the world’s largest banks have pumped into fossil-fuel-related industries since the 2016 Paris agreement, a report by an alliance of NGOs revealed in March. Rather than reducing investments, many actually increased them, despite many having net zero goals. Barclays is one of the biggest fossil fuel backers, putting some $144.9 billion into tar sands, fracking, and coal power, according to the report.

Further Reading

Climate protests damage Barclays London HQ, seven arrested (Reuters)

Bank of England targeted by Extinction Rebellion in ‘fake oil’ spray protest (Sky)

BREAKING: ‘Better broken windows than broken promises’ – Extinction Rebellion women break windows at Barclays HQ in Canary Wharf (XR)

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