BREAKING: Extinction Rebellion targets ‘corrupt’ UK Finance HQ in London
March 02, 2023 by Extinction Rebellion
This morning, Extinction Rebellion targeted lobbying firm UK Finance’s headquarters at 1 Angel Court near Bank in London. Two people threw pink paint over the glass panelling across the front of the building. Others stuck a large sticker with the word ‘CORRUPT’ on the window. Personal statements explaining why people took part were stuck to the windows. 6 people have been arrested.
The building was targeted to highlight the corruption of the financial system and how it prioritises profit over people and planet. UK Finance is “the collective voice for the banking and finance industry.” It represents more than 300 firms across the industry to “enhance competitiveness”.
Fiona Guillespie, concerned mother who took part in the action, said: “The bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again.
“They are morally bankrupt and are self-serving agents who will stop at nothing in their quest for more power at any cost.”
The action also lands on the day that the Financial Services and Markets (FSM) Bill will pass the Committee Stage in Parliament. In its current form, this bill could devastate ordinary people’s lives, handing more power to the banks by further deregulating the economy, and paving the way for another financial crisis. Previously scrapped by MP George Osborne due to the risk of another crash, the bill has been reintroduced to roll back post-2008 protections and increase “competitiveness” in the market. The bill has a huge opportunity to include robust environmental protections, yet is doing the opposite: encouraging infinite growth which will lead to further environmental devastation and climate breakdown.
Dean Bowles who took part in the action, said “The financial system is rigged so those with wealth gain much more, whilst those who have the least pay the most for its ‘service’. The Financial Services and Markets Bill is yet another example of unrestrained greed dressed up as growth for all while being told there’s simply not enough money to transition away from fossil fuels. It re-enables the mentality that brought about the 2008 market crash.
“The lies committed in our name have become too brazen and too blatant to ignore, so I acted today to highlight The UK Finance Group and its role in gambling away all our futures. We all need to come together on the 21st of April outside the Houses of Parliament to act together against the vested interests that claim to act on behalf of our future.”
The deregulation has been highly criticised by economists and politicians alike, with many accusing the banks of profiteering off hunger. The bill offers an opportunity to introduce important climate regulations – but it does not contain any. Instead, the proposed laws would scrap constraints on commodity market speculation, including on fuel and food prices, allowing banks to profit from fuel poverty and hunger as prices rise.
The action marks 50 days until Extinction Rebellion aims to bring 100,000 people to Parliament on 21st April. The invitation is to all humans, all movements, all organisations to come together 21–24 April at The Houses of Parliament, Westminster.
Notes to Editors
ABOUT EXTINCTION REBELLION
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Time has almost entirely run out to address the climate and ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and increasingly rapid climate change. If urgent and radical action isn’t taken, we’re heading towards 4˚C warming, leading to societal collapse and mass loss of life. The younger generation, racially marginalised communities and the Global South are on the front-line. No-one will escape the devastating impacts.
Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their government.
Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:
- Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
- Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
- Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on Climate and Ecological Justice.