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Extinction Rebellion target Barclays: Sheffield activists protest bank invested in fossil fuels

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Extinction Rebellion activists outside Barclays bank.

Members of Extinction Rebellion (XR) have targeted a Sheffield branch of Barclays to protest against the bank's financial involvement in climate breakdown.

Around 35 members of the group wore pinnies and yellow gloves to 'clean' the city centre branch on Pinstone Street.

XR groups across the country took similar action, with climate activists calling for Barclays to disinvest from fossil fuels.

"It is clear that we have to act now on the climate breakdown and that Barclays need to implement a much stronger, immediate climate policy to disinvest from all fossil fuels," said Steph Howlett of XR Sheffield.

"We urge all Barclays customers to engage in conversations with their account manager to move their savings and pension plans out of fossil fuels and other destructive activities, and if this is not possible, to consider switching banks."

A recent report by the Rainforest Action Network found that Barclays is Europe's largest provider of financial services to the fossil fuel industry.

"Climate change is already upon us, and is beginning to ruin our planet," said one activist through a megaphone. "Barclays is helping it happen."

Another campaigner said that the bank's investment in climate breakdown had encouraged her to switch accounts.

"I am in the process of transferring my bank account from Barclays as I am increasingly unhappy that it's contributing to climate change," she explained to passing members of the public.

The action was followed by a vigil at Sheffield Town Hall for the 23 people and one billion animals that have been killed by the Australian wildfires so far, as well as those killed by recent floods in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Sam Gregory

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