Barclays Bank’s Swindon branch was targeted by Marlborough and Devizes Extinction Rebellion activists on Saturday (29 February) morning to highlight the bank’s involvement in fossil fuel infrastructure.
Along with their Swindon counterparts they arrived, dressed in pinnies and wielding mops, dusters and (empty) cleaning spray bottles, they ‘cleaned’ inside Barclays branch in Swindon town centre on Saturday morning, while chatting with customers and handing out leaflets explaining their reasons for being there.
Jo Ripley of Extinction Rebellion Devizes & Marlborough said that they were “there to help highlight the fact that Barclays Bank is Europe’s biggest funder of fossil fuel infrastructure.
“The reason we’re targeting Barclays is because it has provided £65bn of funding to fossil fuel firms and carbon-intensive projects since the Paris Climate Agreement, which have included huge sums globally for the dirtiest, climate-wrecking fuels like coal and tar sands.”
It’s not just XR that are applying pressure on Barclays. A wide and unlikely alliance of environmental campaigners and City investors are aiming to persuade Barclays to stop funding the fossil fuel industry.
Greenpeace activists recently targeted many of the bank’s branches across the UK aiming to disrupt their activity, whilst institutional shareholders including Jupiter Asset Management, The Church of England, and several other major Barclays investors are supporting a shareholder resolution designed to change the bank’s lending policy.