Dozens of protesters disrupt Barclays AGM in Glasgow

The protest, featuring numerous activist groups, took place outside the SEC Armadillo on Thursday.

Dozens of protesters disrupt Barclays AGM outside SEC Armadillo in Glasgow Getty Images

Protestors from numerous activist groups have gathered outside the SEC Armadillo in Glasgow in an attempt to disrupt the Barclays AGM.

Objectors from groups including Extinction Rebellion, the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Fuel Poverty Action and Scottish Friends of Palestine took to the building with flags and banners on Thursday morning with the aim of influencing shareholders meeting inside.

The crowd claim the bank now holds over £2bn in shares of companies whose weapons, components, and military technology are used by Israel in Gaza.

The protest featured larger-than-life Grim Reaper puppets, and a display of child-sized coffins and body bags “symbolising the deaths of Palestinian children”.

The protest featured numerous activist groups.STV News
Protestors gathered inside the main foyer of the SEC.Getty Images

Participants also criticised the company for being “the number one European bank financing fossil fuels since the Paris Agreement, investing over $190bn”.

Ben Jamal, Palestine solidarity campaign director, said: “The only way to get Barclays to do the right thing is by drawing public attention to their role in facilitating Israel’s genocide and hitting their profits.

“Just as South African anti-apartheid campaigners did, we too will force Barclays to withdraw in shame from Israel’s arms supply chain.”

The black-clad silent performers from XR attended the protest.  STV News

Jen Newall, climate scientist and eco-strategist from XR Scotland said: “I’m speaking at this demonstration today to remind people of their power and their agency – encourage anyone who banks with or has shares with Barclays to look deep within and consider if they can really accept contributing to these issues by supporting Barclays and their awful track record.”

Barclays addressed the protest via their website, stating: “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.

“As a bank, our job is to provide financial services to thousands of business clients and that includes those in the defence sector. Clients in this sector include US, UK or European companies which supply defence products to NATO and other allies including Ukraine.

“The defence sector overall is an important contributor to our security. It provides equipment to a wide range of countries including the UK and other European NATO members, and more recently Ukraine.

“The defence industry is as essential to our defence as the armed forces, and having access to the most advanced equipment is essential to protect our armed forces.

“We don’t think that taking away financial support for the defence industry as a whole is the right thing to do. Further, in April the UK Government said that supporting high-quality, well-run defence companies is compatible with ESG considerations.”

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