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Palestine Action takes aim at Barclays bank in England, Scotland

June 10, 2024 at 3:48 pm

Rights activists have vadalised 15 branches of Barclays bank in England and Scotland. [twitter/x @Pal_action]

Rights activists have vadalised 15 branches of Barclays bank in England and Scotland demanding it end its complicity in the genocide taking place in Gaza.

Windows were smashed and branches were sprayed with red paint, to highlight the blood being spilt as a result of Barclays’ investments in arms manufacturers including Israel’s Elbit Systems.

Barclays buildings in St John’s Wood, north London, Croydon, Richmond, south-west London, and Peckham and Croydon in south London also appear to have been targeted.

While in the City of London, three men, aged between 34 and 45, were arrested in connection with criminal damage at the Barclays on Moorgate this morning.

Barclays has been the subject of a number of protests, with the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC) among the groups calling for its customers to move their funds away from the bank which holds “substantial financial ties” with arms companies supplying weapons to Israel.

A report released last month found that Barclays now holds over £2 billion ($2.5 billion) in shares of companies whose weapons, components and military technology have been used in violence against Palestinians by Israel. Barclays also provides over £6.1 billion ($7.6 billion) in loans and underwriting to these arms and military technology companies. This includes holding £2.7 million ($3.36 million) in Elbit Systems, which supplies the Israeli military with armoured drones, munitions and artillery weapons used in its attacks in Gaza.

Denying such reports, the bank says on its website: “Barclays has been the subject of criticism in relation to Gaza based on two arguments: that Barclays is an investor in these businesses, and that we provide a range of financial services to clients which produce equipment used by the Israeli Defence Force.”

“We have been asked why we invest in nine defence companies supplying Israel, but this mistakes what we do. We trade in shares of listed companies in response to client instruction or demand and that may result in us holding shares. We are not making investments for Barclays and Barclays is not a “shareholder” or “investor” in that sense in relation to these companies.”