On Saturday 28th November protests took place in Brighton, Wrexham, Falmouth, Hastings, Tunbridge Wells and Cambridge [Pics] as part of a day of action marking the launch of Smash EDO's'Target Barclays' campaign.On November 30th an action took place in Plymouth.
Smash EDO have been calling for autonomous actions against Barclays Bank to force them to stop providing 'market maker' services for ITT Corporation on the NYSE. Smash EDO's site states 'Bankers and institutional investors are the glue that finances the state terror wreaked by the arms trade. Companies like EDO do not operate in a vacuum but are propped up by the networks of corporations and investors which constitute the global capitalist system which puts profit before peace, greed before people.'
As ITT’s market maker, Barclay’s acts as a ‘middle man’, purchasing shares from a seller and holding them until such a time as a buyer becomes available. This ensures the stability of ITT’s share price by allowing shareholders to sell off their assets at any time, even when a buyer is not immediately available, and vice versa. Barclay’s also profits from this enterprise, by selling ITT’s shares at a small markup, which nevertheless generates a considerable income when spread across large sales. Barclays is also the largest UK investor in the global arms trade.More.
Smash EDO's next big mobilisation is the REMEMBER GAZA SMASH EDO MASS DEMO JANUARY 18TH. Assemble at 1pm, Brighton, wear black.
Just after the Target Barclays campaign was announced three Barclays cash machines in Hemel Hempstead were sabotaged in solidarity with the resistance against the NATO parliamentary assembly in Edinburgh
On the 28th a large demonstration was held in Brighton outside the bank's North Street branch, a letter was handed in to the branch manager, thousands of leaflets were given out and two Barclays customers, after reading the leaflet, told picketers that they would close their accounts. A Barclays spokesperson, speaking to the Brighton Argus, said “Barclays Group provides financial services to the defence sector within a specific policy framework." One can only guess that framework is to generate as much profit as possible for themselves
In Wrexham a picket was held outside the new local branch of Barclays and in Cambridge on the night of the 27th November a group of anonymous pixies scaled scaffolding above a Barclays branch and carved the words "Barclays - £7bn in the Arms Trade" in six foot letters(more pics) into tarpaulins. The message was still visible on the evening of the 28th. Pickets were also held outside Barclays Falmouth and Tunbridge Wells branches, while Barclays in Hastings was leafleted.
2009 has seen an increase in actions against investors in the arms trade. Smash EDO's Mayday! Mayday! street party saw actions against Barclays, Mcdonalds, RBS and HSBC (all investors in ITT). This summer saw more actions at branches of RBS and HSBC against their arms trade investments.During this year's Camp for Climate Action a mass action was held against Barclays, highlighting the link between Barclays dirty investments in coal and its arms trade investments. During the Disarm DSEi mobilisation a map was produced of arms trade investors in the city and, during the mass action, Barclays, RBS, Aviva, AXA, Legal and General and HSBC were targeted.