On trial: Anti-Nato protesters who demanded Barclays divest from the arms trade

Barclays Bank will be back in the spotlight today at Newport Magistrates Court, when 4 activists stand trial on charges of aggravated trespass. The activists were arrested when they occupied the Newport branch of Barclays as part of the anti-NATO week of action organised by Stop NATO Cymru at the beginning of September. The trial is set to last for a day and a half. All defendants have plead not guilty to all charges

On Friday 5th September this year, scores of people occupied the bank on Newport high street. They held banners calling on Barclays to divest from the arms trade and to stop investing in Israel’s war crimes.

The protest was part of a campaign, called for by Palestinians in Gaza,[1] aimed at persuading Barclays to pull its money out of Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest military company which manufactures the unpiloted drones used to bomb Palestinians in Gaza.

During July and August 2014, 2,150 Palestinians were killed as Israel carried out another massacre of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza strip. Entire neighbourhoods were destroyed and mosques, market places, UN relief compounds and schools were deliberately targeted. There was no safe place for the 1.7 million people in Gaza to take shelter from the Israeli bombardment. Israeli drones, carried out over 800 major strikes.

Barclays has been condemned in recent years for its excessive use of tax havens, for creating a special ‘tax avoidance division’, for paying well below the nominal UK rate of corporation tax and manipulating the Libor rate. But this protest was more reminiscent of those which plagued Barclays through the 1970s and 1980s when the bank was heavily invested in apartheid South Africa.

The activists claim that Israel’s drone programme is dependent on the investments of companies like Barclays. They called on customers and staff to boycott Barclays, just as anti apartheid campaigners did over
30 years ago.

The occupation of Barclays had 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.

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Stop NATO Cymru Week of Action in Cardiff & Newport

All week: action camp at Tredegar Park near Newport, with gigs, workshops, skillshares.

Graffiti Spotted in Cardiff City Centre ahead of the Summit

Graffiti Spotted in Cardiff City Centre ahead of the Summit

Sat 30th Aug, 1pm meet at Civic Centre Car Park, Newport – Radical bloc will join demo against NATO in Newport.

Sun 31st Aug, 3pm at the Security Gates nearest to the Nye Bevan statue (west end of Queen Street, opposite the Castle), Cardiff- Action against securitisation and policing.

Mon 1st Sep, 1pm at The Cenotaph, Newport – Sabcat day of action against austerity, benefit cuts and evictions. B.Y.O.Catmasks.

Tue 2nd Sep, 12pm At Home office and Border Force in Cardiff (31-33 Newport Road) – No Borders S. Wales and Stop NATO Cymru Day of Action Against Racism, Prisons and Borders.

Wed 3rd Sep – Day of skillshares and action training at the camp.

Thu 4th Sep – Stop NATO mass action to disrupt the summit. Further details near the time (via contacts below). Affinity group actions to help disrupt the summit also welcome!

Fri 5th Sep – Affinity group actions against capitalism, the state and

NATO; get together with your mates and organise your own action.

More details of all events will be available at the camp, and from:
network23.org/stopnatocymru anarchistaction.net
@anarchistaction 07440 192330 stopnatocymru@riseup.net