Occupation of Barclays – 10/3/12

An occupation and mock trial was held in the Barclays bank branch on North Street, Brighton to demonstrate against Barclays’ investments in the arms trade and in Israeli companies.

Demonstrators occupied the branch for forty minutes before holding a lively demonstration outside calling for a boycott of Barclays until the bank divests from Israel and the arms trade.

Pictures at yfrog.com/odiyhmej

Barclays is the Market maker for ITT Exelys on the New York Stock Exchange.

The demonstration was called by Brighton Jordan Valley Solidarity, Smash EDO and Brighton and Hove Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

Barclays is the largest global investor in the arms trade and the only British high street bank with significant direct investments in Israeli companies.

The Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) calls for companies to divest from Israeli companies. The call also demands an end to investment in companies profiting from Israel’s occupation. The arms companies, such as BAE Systems, invested in by Barclays fall into this category.

Barclays also hold shares in Unilever, the owner of Beigel and Beigel, which run a manufacturing plant in the Barkan settlement industrial zone in the occupied West Bank.

The bank is also attempting to move in to the Israeli High Street. Barclays has an Israeli HQ and, in 2011, applied to operate branches in Israel. If it is successful Barclays will, like all banks operating in Israel, provide loans to settlers and settler industries.