Climate activists deface City of London buildings in intensifying campaign

LONDON: Climate change activists daubed red paint on the glass facade of the London headquarters of bank Standard Chartered and on the medieval Guildhall building nearby on Friday as they ramped up a two-week campaign focused on the capital’s financial district.

Hundreds of Extinction Rebellion protesters marched through central London carrying banners saying "People over Profit” and "Built on Blood Money”. Demonstrators had gathered near the Bank of England before moving to streets in the area.

A line of police officers stood in front of the Guildhall, home of the City of London Corporation which governs the city’s historic financial centre, after protesters sprayed red paint on the stone and glass front of the building.

At the Standard Chartered building, two men sat above its revolving doors. Bright red paint was daubed on the facade and on the large blue letters spelling out the bank’s name.

Extinction Rebellion, which caused days of traffic chaos in London two years ago, said it is targeting the city’s financial district. It accuses the industry of funding climate change.

The group wants an emergency response from governments and a mass move away from polluting industries to avert the worst scenarios of devastation outlined by scientists.

Extinction Rebellion’s two-week campaign has prompted banks and buildings in London’s other financial district, Canary Wharf, to increase security after its supporters previously smashed large glass panels on the buildings of banks there.

A Standard Chartered spokesperson said the bank’s security team worked with police to protect the safety of staff.

"We have been clear that we intend to remain leaders in articulating a path to net zero by 2050 and are committed to detailed transparency on our transition strategy and plan to put it to a shareholder advisory vote in 2022,” the spokesperson said. – Reuters