Extinction Rebellion activists smash at least 19 windows protesting at Canary Wharf HSBC

They were protesting ‘links to fossil fuels’

Extinction Rebellion activists have broken at least 19 windows at the HSBC headquarters in Canary Wharf.

Today is Earth Day, and they said the act was done in protest of HSBC’s links to the fossil fuel industry.

This comes roughly a week after activists broke windows of a Barclays building at a nearby location in Churchill Place.

Extinction Rebellion activists shattered windows at HSBC headquarters at 7am this morning, to protest against HSBC’s links to the fossil fuel industry.

After using hammers and chisels to shatter the windows, posters were placed on the windows claiming HSBC has invested “£80 billion into fossil fuels in the last five years”.

The activists also wore statements on their backs, saying: “Better broken windows than broken promises”.

London mayoral candidate Valerie Brown was one of the activists and stated in a video posted on Twitter saying: “This is an action against HSBC, because [of] their dirty dealings in the fossil fuel industries. Because they’re just helping them to keep on destroying this planet. And yeah so we’re here to let them known that they’ve got to stop it. We’re women, we’re mothers, we’re grandmothers, we’ve got to safeguard for the children’s future.”

In the same video, another activist said: “We don’t have any choice, we’re out of time. We’re [in a] climate and ecological emergency.”

In a second video posted, Valerie said: “We don’t have the right to kill this planet for money…it doesn’t make any sense and these people should be ashamed of themselves. But I guess they don’t have any shame otherwise they would do something about it.”

Videos on Twitter later show several police vehicles arriving at the scene to arrest some of the activists.

Met Police said nine women were arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage. They remain in police custody.

Reactions to the event have varied significantly. One third-year UCL student said: “Activism, as seen throughout history, is most effective when people bring attention to issues on a mass scale.

“I would say peaceful acts of vandalism such as these are justified when they’re directed towards those who have the power to incite real change.”

Another UCL student disagreed, saying: “[It is] pointless. Breaking their windows isn’t going to get them to stop spending money on fossil fuels. Suggesting and implementing green renewable sources of energy will.

“[Although] when you say breaking windows you tend to picture something a lot more violent than what they were doing. So I gotta give [them] that. They’re doing the protest right, at least.”

A third finalist told the Tab: “Issues such as the environmental crisis can’t wait. People might call this form of activism counterproductive or even pointless but the simple truth is that it’s gotten our attention, which means it’s working.”

A spokesperson for HSBC said: “We welcome meaningful dialogue on our climate strategy, however we cannot condone vandalism or actions that put people and property at risk.

“We have an ambition to be net-zero by 2030 and to bring our financed emissions to net-zero by 2050.”

Featured image via Twitter @Reuters

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