Anarchists shut down Barclays in Cardiff

Anarchists and anti-militarists shut down BarclaysAnarchists and anti-militarists shut down Barclays

On Saturday, 3rd of May, a group of 25 anarchists and other anti-militarists closed Barclays’ Cardiff city centre branch in protest of the bank’s investment in the arms trade.

The campaigners formed a Radical Bloc on the Trades Council-organised May Day march, breaking from the main route to take action against the bank instead of going to listen to speeches by union officials at the Trades Council’s rally.

A local anarchist and member of the Stop NATO Cymru campaign group said: “We took part in the May Day march to draw attention to the struggles of workers all over the world against exploitation and violent oppression which is exacerbated by arms producers here in the UK.

We targeted Barclays because it’s a major investor in Exelis Inc. the parent company of the EDO Corporation which is guilty of mass-producing arms to sell to oppressive regimes, exacerbating violent conflict and suppressing legitimate protest. Barclays Global Investors UK Holdings Ltd has 5,059,591 shares in Exelis and Barclays PLC has 63,071 shares.

We entered the branch after leaving the May Day march and refused to leave until we had made an impact. Within half-an-hour the management decided to close, depriving the company of a busy Saturday afternoon’s profit through direct action. We sent our message to the public by plastering the front of the building with stickers which gave details of Barclays’ guilt and sent a clear message to the company that we won’t tolerate money from our communities being used to fund war.”

Barclays closed for funding Exelis/EDO amrs companiesBarclays closed for funding Exelis/EDO arms producers

The protest was organised by anarchist group Stop NATO Cymru as part of an ongoing campaign to oppose the forthcoming NATO Summit in Newport this September. It was supported by IWW Cymru and South Wales Anarchists, as well as by individuals who left the march to join the action.

Support from local coppersSupport from local coppers

A member of Stop NATO Cymru added: “We oppose all wars between nations and see NATO, the armed wing of western capitalism, and the companies which manufacture its weapons as being two sides of the same coin. Both murder ordinary people who are forced into conflicts by their conditions and escalate situations like Ukraine’s, where two imperialistic powers are forcing their will over an innocent population, NATO being one of those powers.”

Later that day, reports emerged that the offending anarchists went to nearby park for a picnic in celebration of their success having occupied and closed the bank with zero arrests made and the only casualty being a red and black flag, stolen by police, which will be sorely missed.

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