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ACTIVISTS gathered outside HSBC’s AGM today under the slogan “no war, no warming” in protest against the bank’s funding of arms and fossil fuels.
The protest in Birmingham brought together pro-Palestinian rights and climate groups, who demanded the bank stops fuelling war and the climate crisis.
Campaigners, trade unionists and students taking part in the youth climate strike chant “free free Palestine” outside HSBC’s AGM! @HSBC must stop funding climate change, war and military occupation! #StopFundingDestruction #StopArmingIsrael #FreePalestine #HSBC pic.twitter.com/Ixoc5qov6U
— PSC (@PSCupdates) April 12, 2019
HSBC faced questions from campaigners, who attended the AGM to challenge the bank’s investment policies.
Protesters noted that campaigning success has already pressured the bank to divest from Israel’s biggest arms manufacturer, Elbit Systems, last December.
However, Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s (PSC) Huda Ammori said: “HSBC continues to invest in companies supplying weapons and military technology to Israel such as Caterpillar, which makes the armoured bulldozers used to demolish Palestinian homes and communities.
“Our message today is clear – HSBC must end its complicity in war crimes and military occupation, and cut ties with all companies that profit from the violent repression of the Palestinian people.”
— 350 dot org (@350) April 10, 2019
HSBC have poured £43 billion into fossil fuels over the last three years, while investing over £830 million in arms companies and being involved in syndicated loans to the arms sector exceeding £18.9bn.
Lise Masson, climate campaigner at BankTrack, which analyses what banks finance, said: “For too long now big banks like HSBC have been pouring billions into climate-wrecking fossil fuels every year.
“HSBC is one of the biggest fossil fuel financiers, supporting projects that not only damage our climate but also ravage front-line communities across the world.”
She called on the bank to “massively step up its climate ambition” by ending its financial support for all fossil fuels.
HSBC did not respond to requests for comment at the time of going to press.
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