Green activists have vandalised the JP Morgan headquarters in Embankment using chisels and hammers to smash two windows.
This morning eight women representing Extinction Rebellion arrived at the building and used hammers adorned with the words ‘live,’ ‘laugh’ and ‘love’ to break the glass. Activists added stickers which read ‘in case of climate emergency, break glass’ to the building front before sitting on the road in a circle to await police.
The metropolitan police service has since confirmed that eight people were arrested at the site of the incident.
Sally Davidson, who took part in the demonstration, said: “I do not take this action lightly.”
Davidson defended her participation in the protest saying: “it comes down to this: climate change and the extraction of fossil fuels are causing untold damage to people’s lives and livelihoods, and damage to a pane of glass is insignificant in comparison.”
Extinction Rebellion said that JP Morgan, which declined to comment on today’s incident, was targeted because it funds more fossil fuel activity than any other bank.
JP Morgan remains the market leader for financing fossil-fuels, with corporate polluters receiving $3.8tn from banks since the Paris Climate Agreement was signed in 2015 according to a study by the Rainforest Action Network.
The action is part of Extinction Rebellion’s “Impossible Rebellion” campaign, a two week long series of protests in the build up to the UN’s COP26 climate summit.
The group has repeatedly targeted the City of London to draw attention to the role that financial services play in fuelling the climate crisis.
Last week, green rabble rousers were seen clashing with police after they doused the front of Standard Chartered Bank and London’s Guildhall in red paint – a symbolic move which laid the blame for environmental destruction at the door of big banks.
Rosemary Webster, 63 from Dorchester, said of today’s action: “banks must stop the harm they are causing right now to avoid climate collapse, which will disproportionately affect women globally as society breaks down.”
More than 450 arrested
News of the incident at JP Morgan comes after the metropolitan police announced that 469 XR protestors have been arrested since their campaign of civil disobedience began last week.
Yesterday, police forcibly removed protestors who blocked London Bridge by tethering themselves to a bus parked sideways in the road – 43 activists were arrested.
According to XR police violence towards protestors has been increasing as the campaign escalates.