Pro-Palestine activists target UK Barclays branches

Business

Pro-Palestinian activists say they have attacked 20 Barclays bank branches across England and Scotland as part of a campaign aimed at damaging Israel’s war machine.

The Palestine Action group, which has previously focused its campaign on Israel-based defence contractor Elbit’s UK operations, said its members were responsible for the vandalism.

Images posted on X showed windows smashed and widespread use of graffiti on several bank branch entrances.

The locations targeted included branches in London, Birmingham, Bristol and Edinburgh.

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The campaigners also included members of the environment-focused protest group Shut the System.

Palestine Action accused Barclays of having financial interests in both Israel’s weapons trade and fossil fuels.

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In posts on its X account, Shut the System said: “For the sake of all life on Earth we must #ShutTheSystem.

“Splintered windows, shards of broken glass glittering on the pavements stand as testimony to the shattered hopes for a liveable future for all beings, everywhere.”

Pic: Palestine Action/X
Image:
Pic: Palestine Action/X

Barclays said that 15 of its sites were targeted, rather than the 20 claimed by Palestine Action.

The bank said no-one was hurt but the damaged branches were currently closed.

A spokesperson said: “We provide vital financial services to US, UK and European public companies that supply defence products to NATO and its allies.

“Barclays does not directly invest in these companies.​

“The defence sector is fundamental to our national security and the UK government has been clear that supporting defence companies is compatible with ESG (environmental, social and governance) considerations.

“Decisions on the implementation of arms embargos to other nations are the job of respective elected governments.

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

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