Posted: 06.04.21 at 12:22 by Tim Lethaby
A bank in Wells had to temporarily close after a climate campaigner glued himself to the floor of the branch.
Dr Ben Buse was arrested after covering the Barclays Wells branch windows in fake oil, and gluing himself inside the branch forcing it to close while he was removed.
The action took place on Thursday (April 1) just after 10am as part of Money Rebellion, a global day of action, challenging the world’s banks over investments in climate and ecological breakdown.
The protesters say they highlighted the $3.8 trillion provided to fossil fuel companies since the Paris Agreement.
Ben Buse, a member of Christian Climate Action, was arrested having covered the windows of the bank in black treacle and on entering the bank gluing himself to the floor, resulting in the closure of the bank for about an hour.
This action followed a demonstration by XR Wells with protesters holding crime scene tape, and placards, targeting the HSBC and Barclays branches in Wells Market Place.
Mr Buse said: “I've put fake oil on the bank as a symbol of the investments in fossil fuels which are betraying life, the planet and our future.
"Let's demand banks wash themselves of fossil fuels and pray that they may serve life rather than profit from destroying life - blood money.
“Banks wash yourself of fossil fuels. Investing in fossil fuel companies is betraying life.
"Fossil fuel companies plans are incompatible with limiting temperature rise to 1.5C, destroying ecosystems and harming indigenous communities."
Mr Buse claimed that Barclays bank is the largest funder of fossil fuels in Europe and involved with tar sands and pipeline construction. He was arrested and taken Bridgwater Police Station.
He was released that evening on bail charged with causing a public nuisance through causing disruption and the bank to close, and with criminal damage in relation to the exterior windows frame. He will appear in court at Yeovil Magistrates' Court in May.
A Barclays spokesperson said: “Our priority is to ensure the health and safety of our colleagues and customers, and we worked hard to get the branch open as soon as we possibly could.
"We have made a commitment to align our entire financing portfolio to the goals of the Paris Agreement, with specific targets and transparent reporting, on the way to achieving our ambition to be a net zero bank by 2050.
"We believe that Barclays can make a real contribution to tackling climate change and help accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.”