On the second day of the NATO summit Stop NATO Cymru and Anarchist Action Network called for affinity groups to take action against NATO and militarism in whatever way they saw fit.
At 3pm a group of about 40 people occupied the Barclays Bank in Newport High Street. Four people glued themselves inside the branch and the branch was shut for the rest of the day.
A press release from the group reads:
“Palestine solidarity and anti-NATO campaigners have occupied Barclays Bank on Newport High Street this afternoon. The activists are calling for Barclays PLC to divest its shares from Elbit Systems, the Israeli drone manufacturer which produces unpiloted aircraft used to attack people in Gaza. Barclays owns almost 60 000 shares in Elbit.
Protesters are chanting ‘Stop Arming Israel’ and singing ‘Barclays divest from the Arms trade’. Three protesters have glued themselves inside the bank.
Israeli armed drones carried out 851 Strikes during the last attack on Gaza. In response Palestinians are calling for investors to pull their money out of companies, like Elbit, who are responsible for manufacturing these drones.
The occupation has been timed to coincide with the NATO summit. Elbit’s drones are also used by NATO members. The company is part of a partnership manufacturing the Watchkeeper drone for use by the UK military.
Michelle Horton, one of the occupiers inside the bank said, “Elbit’s drones are used to carry out horrific war crimes in Gaza. We are here to stand in solidarity with people in Gaza and to persuade Barclays to get rid of their shares in Elbit.”
Four people were arrested just after 5pm.
Later today another affinity group went to Newport police station and demanded the arrest of Barack Obama for war crimes. They pointed to evidence leaked by jailed whistleblower Chelsea Manning.