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Barclays branches smashed and covered in rent paint over Israel involvement and climate destruction

ABOUT 20 Barclays bank branches were left with smashed windows and covered in red paint today after two direct action groups joined forces to attack companies involved in Israel and climate destruction.

Palestine Action was formed three years ago and has autonomous groups across Britain mounting actions against arms factories and other companies involved with Israel.

Shut the System (StS) describes itself as a “recently formed underground climate movement” targeting banks and insurance companies which “enable fossil fuel expansion.”

This morning, they attacked branches of Barclays bank, including those in Richmond, Croydon, Peckham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Exeter, Sheffield, Brighton, Northampton, Bristol, Birmingham, Solihull, Preston, Bury and Stockport.

The groups said Barclays invests in companies, including arms manufacturers, involved in Israel. It is also involved with fossil fuel companies.

The attacks were the groups’ first joint operation.

They said in statements: “Barclays is funding the crises of climate collapse and genocide in Palestine.

“Decades of polite campaigning, petitions, letter-writing and lobbying MPs have failed.

“We will continue to escalate until Barclays pulls its finger out and stops funding genocide and climate destruction.”

Palestine Action has also regularly targeted Israeli-owned Elbit Systems which produces military drones, pilotless aircraft and other weapons used by Israel in its attacks on Gaza.

An Elbit factory in Oldham, Greater Manchester, shut permanently last year after more than a year of occupations and protests outside the factory.

A spokesperson for Barclays said it provides “vital financial services to US, UK and European public companies that supply defence products to Nato and its allies.”

“Barclays does not directly invest in these companies,” they said, adding that the defence sector is “fundamental to national security” and that arms embargoes are “the job of respective elected governments.”

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