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Extinction Rebellion Smash Windows At HSBC Headquarters During Earth Day Protest

by : Emily Brown on : 22 Apr 2021 09:44
Extinction Rebellion Smash Windows At HSBC Headquarters During Earth Day ProtestPolitics For All/Twitter/Sky News

Activists with Extinction Rebellion smashed a total of 19 windows at the HSBC headquarters during protests taking place on Earth Day. 

The climate activists took the dramatic action in Canary Wharf, London, in an effort to protest the company’s links to the fossil fuel industry and ability to finance coal power, which contributes to climate change.

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The display came as part of the movement’s efforts to revolt against political, economic and social structures that contribute to climate change, to help prevent the worst impacts which have been outlined by experts.

In a statement about the move, Extinction Rebellion implied HSBC were being hypocritical in its climate change plans, saying: ‘Despite HSBC’s pledge to shrink its carbon footprint to net zero by 2050, their current climate plan still allows the bank to finance coal power, and provides no basis to turn away clients or cancel contracts based on links to the fossil fuel industry.’

Nine women smashed the windows using hammers and stuck stickers to the building before sitting down and waiting for police to arrest them, Reuters reports. Stickers read ‘£80 billion into fossil fuels in the last 5 years’, and those involved also made reference to the Suffragette movement of the early 20th century by wearing patches that read: ‘Better broken windows than broken promises.’

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One of the protestors involved, Gully Bujak, stressed that it was ‘time to stand up and be counted’, adding: ‘Doing this today may land us in prison but we’re on the right side of history.’

Following the protest, the Metropolitan Police confirmed to The Independent that nine women were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and remained in custody.

Valerie Brown, the London mayoral candidate for Burning Pink party, was among the protesters and described the investment in fossil fuels as ‘murder’.

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Fossil FuelsPA Images

She continued: ‘More and more people can see that clearly. Why can’t you? We will not stand by whilst you invest in runaway greed, whilst people’s lives are being shattered by the fossil fuel industries.’

According to the Rainforest Action Network, per The Independent, HSBC is among the world’s 15 biggest financial backers of fossil fuels and has contributed more than $110 billion (£79 billion) to the industry since 2016.

The demonstration at HSBC formed part of Extinction Rebellion’s ‘Money Rebellion’ movement and comes just two weeks after it broke windows at the headquarters of Barclays bank in another stand against the finance sector.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Climate Change, Environment, Extinction Rebellion, Fossil Fuels, London, Now, Protest

Credits

The Independent and 2 others
  1. The Independent

    Extinction Rebellion activists smash windows at HSBC headquarters in Canary Wharf

  2. Reuters

    Climate activists shatter 19 windows at HSBC HQ in London's Canary Wharf

  3. Politics For All/Twitter

    @PoliticsForAll