Pro-Palestine demonstrators gathered outside a branch of Barclays Bank in Croydon on Saturday in a protest over the bank’s alleged involvement in funding arms to Israel.
A group of around 20 people, who represent the ‘Boycott Barclays Campaign’, held Palestine signs and flags and surrounded the entrance to the bank.
The protestors said they wanted local people to change their loyalty from Barclays to more ‘moral banks.’ They also urged the public to email Barclays, demanding an end to their business with Israel, and offered a template letter that can be sent to their bank manager.
Croydon resident Sabrina Lawson, 32, who was handing out flyers told East London Lines, “Locals are coming together regularly now. It has become so large that people are splitting into our own areas. We have done one outside this Barclays before, so this is our second protest. I think it is going well, bigger than the last time.”
According to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, last year the bank owned £1.3bn worth in shares in companies that supplied Israel with firearms and military weapons. It is also claimed that the bank also supplies the companies that provide these weapons with another £4bn worth of loans and financial services.
“We get a lot of interesting conversations with people down the highstreets, there is so much support in the community for Palestine.”, said Lawson, “People are keen to learn more about the systemic entanglement of our consumer choice and our government.”
Kira Hobkirk, 20, a student visiting friends in the area told East London Lines, “It’s something I never knew about the bank, and something I think goes over a lot of people’s head. I don’t use Barclays but when I get home, I will make sure my family knows so they can change their banks.”
The Croydon demonstration was the latest in a series targeting Barclays branches in London in the wake of the Gaza conflct. The bank has also been the target of environmental protestors over its alleged funding of fossil fuel companies.