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Extinction Rebellion protesters attack HSBC headquarters with mallets in Earth Day stunt

Extinction Rebellion blockade Prince Charles’ residence in 2019

The climate change activists descended upon the headquarters in Canary Wharf to draw attention to the bank’s links to the fossil fuel industry, according to the activists. They used hammers to break windows and paste sticks on walls before sitting down outside the building.

Extinction Rebellion said: “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.”

One activist Gully Bujak said it is “time to stand up and be counted”.

She said: “It’s time to stand up and be counted.

“Doing this today may land us in prison but we’re on the right side of history.”

Extinction Rebellion protesters attack HSBC headquarters – smash windows in Canary Wharf (Image: NC)

Extinction Rebellion activists smash HSBC windows

Extinction Rebellion activists smash HSBC windows (Image: Reuters)

London mayoral candidate for political party Burning Pink, Valerie Brown, 68, was among the women who broke windows.

According to a press release issued by Extinction Rebellion, she said: “Investing in fossil fuels is murder.

“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.”

Extinction Rebellion activists smash HSBC windows

Extinction Rebellion activists smash HSBC windows (Image: Reuters)

Orthalia Kunene from the Pink Panthers, said: “The Pink Panthers are in solidarity with the 10 women from Extinction Rebellion smashing windows at one of the commercial banks funding fossil fuel industries.

“It’s clear: banks are just as guilty for the destruction of our climate as the fossil fuel companies that they fund.

“Since the Paris climate agreement in 2015, where the world agreed to avert the worst effects of climate breakdown, the world’s top banks have poured $1.9 trillion into fossil fuel financing.

“And that’s not even counting their 2019 investments which are still being calculated.”

Six ways Britain could lead Green revolution

Six ways Britain could lead Green revolution (Image: Express)

Susan Reid, 62, and a member of the activists said: “I shouldn’t be having to do this but I think we owe it to our children and grandchildren to act in whatever way we can.

“I would like to enjoy my retirement with my grandchildren, but instead I have to spend it fighting for their future because banks like HSBC are happy to keep making money from fossil fuels no matter the risk. 

“We’re in a planetary emergency and people are dying right now.

“Just because it’s not on our doorstep doesn’t mean it’s not already happening in the global south. What we are doing today is an act of care.” 

Activists waited for police to arrive

Activists waited for police to arrive (Image: Reuters)

Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, condemned the protests.

He told Good Morning Britain: “I think any vandalism and destruction of property is not only criminal but should be denounced and I am not pleased that they are doing that.

“I understand the passion, I understand the fact that people want urgent action and that’s why we have a summit today.

“That’s why the Prime Minister encouraging and urging other countries to have more ambitious carbon reduction targets.”

This latest protest comes just two weeks after the climate change activists broke windows at the London headquarters of Barclays bank.

The protesters were seen carrying placards with slogans such as “Better Broken Windows than Broken Promises” and “In Case of Climate Emergency Break Glass”.

A Barclay’s spokesperson told City AM at the time: “Extinction Rebellion 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, and help accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

More to follow…

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