Barclays bank branches across London vandalised by pro-Palestinian protesters in countrywide wave of attacks

Barclays branches across the country have been coated in red paint and had their windows smashed by pro-Palestinian protesters.

Protest groups Palestine Action and Shut the System targeted 20 Barclays branches, including at least five in London, on Monday.

The protesters said “their collaboration demanding divestment bank divest from Israel’s weapons trade and fossil fuels has left the bank shattered”.

Branches in Moorgate, St John’s Wood, Croydon, Richmond, and Peckham were targeted in London as well as in places such as Edinburgh, Bristol and Bury.

In Edinburgh protesters threw rocks “marked with the names of Palestinian martyrs” at a Barclays branch, Palestine Action said.

The protest group shared a photo of a bag of rocks, some painted with Palestine flags, as well as slogans such as “Barclays murderer and proud” and “for Reem our soul”.

A Barclays branch in St John’s Wood was among those targeted (Handout)
A Barclays branch in St John’s Wood was among those targeted (Handout)

Three men were arrested after the Barclays building in Moorgate was vandalised with graffiti, the City of London Police said.

A spokesperson confirmed three men, aged between 34 and 45, were arrested in connection with criminal damage.

The police said: “They were seen on CCTV and officers were sent to the scene. Following a short foot chase, three men were brought into custody.”

In St John’s Wood red paint was sprayed across the front of a Barclays branch and cash machines. The glass door to the building was also shattered.

The front of the banks’ building has been covered in red paint which matches a similar protest that took place in May.

Barclays in Moorgate was also defaced (Evening Standard)
Barclays in Moorgate was also defaced (Evening Standard)

In Croydon glass windows were smashed and red paint was sprayed along the side of the high street bank.

Barclays has been repeatedly targeted by pro-Palestinian activists who accuse it of “complicity in Israel’s attacks on Palestinians” because of its funding of Israeli companies.

The banks’ Moorgate branch was targeted in similar incidents in May and in February, when graffiti accusing Barclays of “funding the death of 13,000 kids” was sprayed across the bank’s entrance.

Pictures from the scene on Monday show the building cordoned off. A black fire extinguisher could be seen next to a puddle of red paint dripping near the bank’s entrance.

A branch in Croydon’s North End was also hit in April with similar graffiti including the words “free Palestine”, “baby killers”, while a floor-to-ceiling window was also smashed.

Meanwhile, in January, activists staged occupations of several of the bank’s branches while carrying Palestine flags, including at a branch in Peckham.

Barclays' annual shareholder meeting was disrupted by activists shouting “blood on your hands” in May protesting against its alleged indirect links to violence in Gaza.

Separately, a campaign has been launched to urge the Women’s Super League (WSL) to urgently reconsider its sponsorship deal with Barclays over Israel-Gaza.

A spokesperson for Barclays said: “We provide vital financial services to US, UK and European public companies that supply defence products to NATO and its allies. Barclays does not directly invest in these companies.​

“The defence sector is fundamental to our national security and the UK government has been clear that supporting defence companies is compatible with ESG considerations.

“Decisions on the implementation of arms embargos to other nations are the job of respective elected governments.

“While we support the right to protest, we ask that campaigners do so in a way which respects our customers, colleagues and property.”