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Fracking campaigners shut down bankrolling HSBC

Dozens of campaigners laid siege to central London HSBC branches at the weekend, telling the firm to stop bankrolling the fracking industry.

Frack Off London activists dressed in high-visibility boiler suits and hard hats set up 13-foot tall mock fracking drills outside the bank’s Regent Street and Strand branches on Saturday afternoon.

Hsbc had already shut its doors to the public by the time the more than 50 protesters descended on the London branches, leaving demonstrators to unfurl their “Fracking is a dirty business” banners outside.

At the Regents Street rally, wine critic Charles Metcalfe derided the “very, very harmful way of extracting the last drops and hisses of fossil fuels.”

He said almost all British political parties were backing fracking.

“This kind of fracking has left a trail of harm and destruction wherever it has been done.”

He added that regulations have not been observed by fracking companies such as Cuadrilla, which explores the grounds near Mr Metcalfe’s home in Balcombe, West Sussex.

“We cannot allow (fracking) to ruin our country, our health, our water to be polluted irretrievably to our children,” he said.

“It must be stopped.”

Move Your Money campaigner Danielle Paffard argued that targeting HSBC was a vital part of the anti-fracking campaign.

On October 20 the organisation will be launching a campaign lobbying HSBC’s customers to “put their bank on notice” and leave if it doesn’t drop its support for fracking industries.

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