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Extinction Rebellion protesters glue themselves to London Stock Exchange

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By Kate Hope
Extinction Rebellion Activists in front of the London Stock Exchange
Extinction Rebellion Activists in front of the London Stock Exchange   -   Copyright  Reuters

Climate protesters from Extinction Rebellion glued themselves to the London Stock Exchange on Thursday as part of their protest in the capital's financial district.

Seven people dressed in suits and wearing futuristic visors glued themselves and each other to the front of the building.

The environmental group decided to focus on the financial sector to demand that the industry realise the extent of what the activists are calling an ecological emergency, and its impact on our planet.

The controversial group hold LED panels with text saying "tell the truth", "climate emergency" and "you can’t eat money".

"We need to move our focus away from money and finance and towards the conservation of our planet", said Jayne Forbes, spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion.

"Everybody has been very supportive, even the people working in the financial district know that this is important. We're stuck in a system where we have to follow the money and work, follow the pound, the dollar, and where has it got us? They're talking about increasing our Gross National Product, but that includes a lot of bad as well as good. Maybe we should be looking at something like National Happiness", she explained.

Forbes said the police have been very relaxed, but adds: "I have no doubt that the people glued to the stock exchange will get arrested once they are off."

Extinction Rebellion activists have also climbed on top of trains in Canary Wharf, a busy financial area of London's docklands. Activists held up banners that say "Business as Usual ```= Death" in reference to the financial sector's role in the climate emergency, and "Don't jail the Canaries".

They plan to protest outside banks including Goldman Sachs, the Bank of England, Rothschild and Nomura on another day of protests aimed at forcing Britain to take action to avert what they cast as a global climate cataclysm.

Extinction Rebellion is also planning protests outside Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and Rabobank, according to a document seen by Reuters.

The group was outside Goldman Sachs at 11:00 am.

82 year old activist Phil Kingston explains why he took part in the protest:

"Well I'm here because I have a belief that there is something greater than us, which tells me that we don't own this Earth. So I'm just not excepting that we treat it as just our property to do what heck we like and it's doing terrible damage."

"The human population are being taught that this is the way of life. It isn't, it's the way of death. That's because the more we take, the less there is for future generations", he says.

Extinction Rebellion tweeted that Kingston was later arrested.

Extinction Rebellion climbing on trainsReutersReuters

Although it has been reported that this is the last day of Extinction Rebellion's wave of protests, Forbes says the rebellion is only just beginning.

"There's going to be something big tomorrow. We're not finishing, of course not. This is the start of the rebellion."