Two men have been arrested after the windows of a Glasgow bank were smashed as protesters demanded Barclays cut ties with fossil fuel companies.
Wearing safety glasses and Kevlar gloves, Extinction Rebellion protesters smashed the window of the bank’s Clyde Place Quay branch ahead of a protest outside the company’s outlet later on Monday.
Police Scotland said two men had been arrested and investigations were ongoing.
In footage released by the campaign group, the windows of its multimillion-pound Glasgow campus building had been smashed, and three protesters held up banners declaring “this is an intervention” and calling on the company to ” stop funding Rosebank”. .
Protesters in Glasgow said the field contained more than 500m barrels of oil and claim Barclays has provided Norwegian state-owned Equinor with $2.46bn (£2bn) support since 2015 .
In footage released by the group, police liaison officers can be seen at the bank with police vans and cars arriving as they held up their banners.
An Extinction Rebellion protester said he was taking action because ‘Barclays is discovering the destruction of our planet and funding the destruction of our children’s future’.
“I can’t sit idly by while Barclays funds the collapse of society,” she said.
Alex Cochrane, of Extinction Rebellion Scotland, said the bank was the “biggest fossil fuel funder in Europe”.
“Their greed exploits and creates a future of famine, displacement and global suffering,” he said.
“We all know we need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels. We all know the climate crisis is already hitting us, but Barclays still refuses to do the right thing for us.
“For all of us, they need to stop using our money to finance fossil fuels.”
The group claimed the action in Scotland’s biggest city had followed in the footsteps of the suffragettes and the Plowshares movement, “using non-violent direct action and property damage to prevent and draw attention to further damage important”.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: ‘At approximately 8.10am on Monday November 14, police were made aware of damage to property in Kingston Street, Glasgow.
“Officers went to the scene and two men were arrested. Investigations are ongoing. »
Meanwhile, outside Barclays on Union Street in Aberdeen, activists from Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil sprayed plaster on the building, which also houses the offices of oil company Shell, with posters, then painted it with orange paint.
Lee Matthews, 22, who was at the protest, said: ‘Continuing to invest in fossil fuels is abhorrent and we must do everything in our power to stop them from doing so.
And a protester known only as Jean said the activists were “motivated by love”.
“We love this planet, it’s our home, but right now its ecological systems are collapsing and we want to change that,” the protester said.
A Barclays spokesperson said: “Barclays was one of the first banks to set an ambition to become net zero by 2050.
“We have set targets for 2030 to reduce our financed emissions in four of the most emitting sectors in our financing portfolio, with additional targets for 2025 for the two most emitting sectors: energy and electricity.
“We have also facilitated over £80bn of green funding since 2018 and are investing our own capital – £175m – in sustainability-focused start-ups.
“While Extinction Rebellion is entitled to its views on these matters, we ask that by expressing this view they prevent criminal damage to our facilities that puts the safety of people at risk.”