At around 6am this morning, ten activists sprayed symbolic blood-red paint over the front and rear entrances of 201 Bishopsgate and then locked on in pairs, effectively preventing normal staff access to the building.

They were highlighting the investments of the Bank of Nova Scotia (or Scotiabank) which has its London office there. The Canadian bank announced after pressure from activists in their home country and here, that they were divesting their $500 million stake in Israeli arms company Elbit Systems. But their wholly owned subsidiary the 1832 Asset Fund Management business still accounts for more than $230 million.

Multiple businesses are housed within this large building, and their staff began arriving around 8am and onwards, diverting past the protesters to the only available entrance, normally reserved for cyclists. Activists kept up chants shaming Scotiabank’s investments and linking them to the genocide in Gaza – Elbit’s weaponry and components are used extensively by the IDF, including 85% of all drones used in the illegal occupation.

Eventually a specialist police ‘protest removal team’ arrived with cutting equipment for the lock-on pipes, and pair by pair, activists were cut free and arrested, several hours after the protest began.

This morning Palestine Action announced a new protest encampment near Elbit’s Shenstone UAV Engines subsidiary, and the Instro factory in Kent was also stormed by activists, who gained access and caused damage.