On October 29, there was an excellent turnout of activists at Bedford Square Exeter from local Extinction Rebellion groups (Exeter, Totnes and Teignmouth/Newton Abbot), co-organised by Exeter XR and Exeter Samba Band. The objective? To call out Barclays yet again: the dirty bank of Europe.
Barclays remains the number one bank in Europe and number seven globally for providing investment banking, finance and broking services for fossil fuel companies involved in every form of fossil fuel extraction. This at a time when the UN is repeating its warning that humanity is on the very brink of catastrophe, with greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere still increasing apace.
UN Secretary general Antonio Guterres stated:
‘fossil fuel firms have humanity by the throat.’
We have to convince the financial institutions and governments globally that humanity needs to plan for transition to renewables now.
In this country we have a government whose leader couldn’t even be bothered to attend COP 27 in Egypt until he was shamed into it.
The Exeter event staged a powerful and potent theatre performance to symbolise what Barclays are doing right now and to challenge their blatant greenwashing. The ‘suits’ poured ‘oil’ over the near-naked bodies of men and women, huddling together for safety. The victims then turned to face the polluters and accused them of their damaging actions against the planet and humanity.
Peppy from Teignmouth, who participated in public outreach, said:
“Barclays are de-railing what was agreed in the Paris agreement. Barclays are not thinking of humanity, wildlife, nature, or the ocean, which are all suffering because of the climate crisis, with emissions still increasing due to banks like Barclays.”
An Extinction Rebellion “pink table” enabled people to sign postcards requesting Barclays disinvest from fossil fuels and then hand them into staff at the bank. The demand was such that they ran out of cards.
The action followed on from similar and highly successful Barclays actions in Newton Abbot and Plymouth.
Michael is a spokesperson for XR.