Open letter to Barclays Bank from Extinction Rebellion and Animal Rebellion Rebels
Dear Barclays Bank,
As your customers we are deeply concerned about the following issues:
- That you finance industries that destroy the environment and fuel climate change, including the fossil fuel industry and industrial animal agriculture.
- That you finance projects that contribute to the destruction of Indigenous communities and the deforestation of our precious rainforests.
- That you enable tax dodging by being part of the offshore finance industry.
“The risk of catastrophic and irreversible disaster is rising,
implying potentially infinite Youcosts of unmitigated climate change,
including human extinction.” — The International Monetary Fund
In light of this crisis, we ask you to:
- Tell the truth: fully disclose your social, climate and ecological impacts whilst highlighting that such destructive behaviour is incentivised by our current political economy.
- Act now to stop financing and enabling destruction in the shortest possible time frame; end the:
- Financing of fossil fuels and industrial animal agriculture.
- Financing of other projects that destroy habitats and tear apart the communities of indigenous people.
- Participation in the offshore finance industry which enables tax dodging.
Reorientate your purpose to minimise harm and repair the damage.
3. Champion Citizens’ Assemblies at all key levels, including the global, with mandates to design a regenerative political economy in service to all people and life on earth.
Show immediate willingness to do the right thing by writing off debts of rebels who have participated in the Repair the Harm Action.
We know that Barclays has a dark past, with ties to Apartheid in South Africa, the Transatlantic trafficking of people, and the facilitation of crime and fraud (e.g., the LIBOR scandal). Your response to these issues has been both slow and inadequate, so we are taking timely action now.
We are making donations on your behalf using Barclays Credit cards to an organisation which supports Indigenous communities on the frontlines of resistance to the destruction you’ve contributed to and to a complementary school for Afrikan Heritage students. We are also making donations on your behalf to organisations that resist or repair the harm caused to our animal cousins.
We ask that you cancel the debts we have incurred in taking this action as a step towards righting your wrongs. When you do so, we will make a further donation to match your contribution. We do not consider these debts as ours — they are your debts — and it would be unreasonable to ask us to pay the money back.
These donations are a start, but Barclays need to make substantial reparations and radically change your approach to banking in order to repair the harm you have caused. We ask Barclays staff to join us in genuinely building this better world.
With hope for a better world, that we build together,
From Extinction Rebellion and Animal Rebellion Rebels
PS. we will write to you individually with our account details.
PS. expect to see us and other rebels continue our civil disobedience at bank branches also until our demands are met.