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CLIMATE change activists used hammers and chisels to shatter the windows at a Barclays building in London’s Canary Wharf today, in protest against the bank’s investment in fossil fuels.
The seven women from Extinction Rebellion (XR) put stickers on the glass that read “in case of climate emergency, break glass,” before breaking the windows. They then sat down and waited to be arrested.
The protesters wore patches on their clothes saying: “Better broken windows than broken promises,” echoing the 1912 suffragette action across west London.
They also wore the colours of the suffragette movement to highlight the disproportionate impact the climate emergency is likely to have on women, particularly those who are poor, indigenous, of colour or who live in the global South.
Protester Lucy Porter, a 46-year-old teacher from Yorkshire, said: “When my daughter told me that she had decided not to have children because it would be irresponsible and immoral to bring them into this world, it broke my heart.
“Why are young people having to make decisions to mitigate harm to future generations while companies like Barclays carry on using public money to systematically destroy our planet and our life support systems?
“I don’t want to be taking this action — I’m scared — but after years of traditional campaigning I feel I have no options left.”
Activist Gabriella Ditton, a 27-year-old carer from Norfolk, said: “Imagine looking into the future, seeing the suffering, seeing the despair, but being given the chance to change it.
“This is about doing what is necessary, not what is easy. I act for every man, woman and child whose security Barclays has sacrificed for their own short-term gain.”
A Barclays spokesman said: “XR 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.
“We have made a commitment to align our entire financing portfolio to the goals of the Paris Agreement, with specific targets and transparent reporting, on the way to achieving our ambition to be a net-zero bank by 2050, helping to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.”
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