On Friday, Extinction Rebellion protests focused on the City of London starting with speeches at the Bank of England and then a march featuring direct actions against various City institutions starting with a repeat visit to the Guildhall where this month’s ‘Impossible Rebellion’ began.
Two climate activists sprayed the rear entrance to the Guildhall with blood-red paint and gave a speech about the blood on the hands of the traders, the slavery that helped build the City’s wealth, and the financial tentacles that drive 15% of the world’s carbon emissions.
Standard Chartered bank was also a target for paint and two men climbed onto the canopy above the entrance leaving red hand-prints all over glass. The bank is accused of hypocrisy because since signing the Paris Agreement designed to keep global heating below a limit of 1.5º, they have allegedly invested a further £42 billion and plan to continue investing in coal projects beyond 2030. Extinction Rebellion’s main demand of the City is to halt investment in any new projects, as part of the urgent work needed to decarbonise our economies.
After further actions at financial law firms, the march stopped outside the London Stock Exchange for more speeches, and there, in Paternoster Square, red dye was spilt all over the pavement, and coins stuck down with gum – signifying ‘blood money’.
At Mansion House junction, four activists bamboozled police by erecting tensegrity beacon bamboo structures across the intersection. Marchers were met with police cordons but hundreds took different routes and soon the road was theirs. Among the speakers were Marvina Newton (United for Black Lives) whose speech we feature here.