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RBS round-up - 23 actions and counting!

RBS round-up - 23 actions and counting! | 15.10.2007 16:20 | Climate Camp 2007 | Climate Chaos | Ecology | Globalisation

From Edinburgh to Cornwall, blockades to invisible theatre, RBS has felt the sting today. As of 5PM on Monday, we've heard of 23 actions so far with more expected to still come in. Read on, check back soon, and let us know if you've done something in your area! And a huge well done to all involved.

Edinburgh RBS HQ: Campaigners from Edinburgh University People and Planet group held a demonstration outside the RBS national headquarters on St. Andrew’s Street, giving out information to customers, holding banners and placards, and waving oil covered hands. Photos and full report:

Also in Edinburgh: The locks of the main entrances to at least six Edinburgh RBS branches were glued shut last night, and all of them had to have the locks replaced today.

London RBS HQ: a dozen activists from London Rising Tide held a protest outside the RBS headquarters on Bishopsgate. Despite a heavy police presence, one activist managed to clamber on the glass canopy of the building to unfurl a banner reading ‘RBS: The Oil Bank of Scotland’. On the ground, polar bears held a die-in and others handed out more than 900 leaflets. The climber has now been arrested.
Photos and full report:

London pranks: ‘This Company is Out of Order’ signs left on 15 RBS and Natwest cash machines in central London. Pranksters do invisible theatre in branches, trying to open accounts, having arguments about RBS’ unethical policies in the queues, and leaving piles of anti-RBS leaflets amongst their corporate propaganda. They then go underground for some ‘Tube Education’, leafleting and talking to Tube passengers.

Bristol Polar Bear Refugee lock-on: Six people from Bristol Rising Tide for Climate Action dressed as homeless polar bears locked themselves together (arms encased in concrete inside suitcases to symbolise displacement due to climate change) to prevent vehicles from entering the RBS corporate office at Temple Quay where over 500 RBS staff work. The blockade lasted over four hours, with police using dodgy tactics to remove the protesters.
Photos and full report:

Manchester demo at RBS regional HQ: Activists from Manchester Climate Action gathered at the RBS regional HQ on Deansgate Street. Banners were displayed reading: 'Climate Change: RBS Makes It Happen' and 'No Pipeline! Green Energy Not Gas'. Protesters were greeted by 3 Tactical Aid Unit Vans and security guards, but despite police attempts to stop noise under the public order act, the samba band played and flyers were given out to workers, customers and passers by. Photos and full report:

Norwich demo and door locks: Overnight, the RBS branch on Queen Street and the RBS-Natwest Technology group office on Exchange Street were locked shut. The Queen Street branch was prevented from opening for business for an hour and a half this morning, as locksmiths attempted to remove the lock and activists leafleted the waiting staff, customers and passers-by.
Photos and full report:

Sheffield demo and invisible theatre: A group of activists held a demonstration outside an RBS branch in Broomhill, Sheffield. Later on in the day, a couple staged a through-gritted-teeth domestic argument while queuing in a branch in Church Street over whether they should be using a bank that invests in climate-destroying projects. When they got to the cashier, the man, a long-standing RBS customer of over 20 years, actually closed his RBS account, explaining his reasons to the cashier and asking to see the manager – which was apparently good enough reason for the cashier to press the emergency bell and the police to be summoned!
Full report:

Truro demo at RBS branch: Twelve activists from across Cornwall gathered at the RBS branch in Truro for a two-hour demo with a friendly atmosphere and good response from passers-by. They handed out leaflets and slices of cake from a clock-shaped ‘11th hour’ cake, and made new connections that built the foundations of a climate action group for Cornwall.

Cambridge demo at RBS branch: Eight people held a demo outside the RBS branch on Trinity Street. Lots of police and FIT, at one point one per protestor! The bank was so nervous they kept the doors locked, letting customers in and locking the doors behind them.
Photos and full report:

Oxford demo and pipeline theatre: RBS and NatWest branches visited by activists bearing banners and wearing oil-spattered T-Shirts declaring "RBS Group - Funding Climate Change" and "Dirty Bankers - Shafting The Planet”. Activists also entered both branches with a large oil pipeline, explaining to customers and staff that they were delivering it to the branch, but couldn't leave until they'd spoken to Head Office. They cheerfully (and loudly) reminisced with staff and customers about all the other pipelines and fossil fuel projects the bank was funding, and how much climate change they were causing.
Full report:

Birmingham Uni flood campus NatWest: Over thirty students from Birmingham People and Planet descended upon the Natwest branch on campus. Some were dressed in boiler suits and carried oil pipelines. Others, dressed as bankers and impersonating members of the RBS Oil and Gas Team gave a highly sarcastic presentation extolling the virtues of RBS’ oil and gas investments. Oil pipes and boiler suits. Dressed as bankers. Went in and gave mock presentation, impersonated oil and gas team. Extolled virtues of RBS. 20 minutes. Did presentation again a few more times on campus. 30 people. Couldn’t all fit in. Birmingham People and Planet.

Glasgow Treacle Tart Cabaret: After a half hour discussion with the central Glasgow RBS branch manager in which they expressed their anger about RBS’ investment in oil and gas, two intrepid activists left the branch, only to make a quick costume change and return as the hosts of the Treacle Tart Cabaret. They sang, danced, waved banners and placards, got up on the cashiers’ desks and strutted their stuff, and even performed an Oil Rap. At this point the bank decided to lock its doors, locking the Tarts in and customers out, and effectively shutting the bank down for an hour. Inside the atmosphere was positive, with the locked-in staff and customers getting into the swing of things. One of the Tarts capped off the performance by cutting up her RBS debit card as a magic trick.

Actions are also planned today for Aberdeen, Plymouth, Kendal and more – check back soon for updates!

And email if we've got anything wrong above and we'll fix it for future use.

RBS round-up - 23 actions and counting!
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Aberystwyth Action

15.10.2007 16:40

Around a dozen climate change refugees queued outside Nat West Bank in Aberystwyth today, Monday 15th October, to beg a ‘bank official’ for a home loan because climate change was destroying their current home. The refugees ranged from an Aussie through a Greenlander to an Artic Cod. As the refugees were interviewed, volunteers handed out fliers on Royal Bank of Scotland , Nat West and their investment in projects linked to climate change. Meanwhile, RBS and Nat West ATMs all mysteriously displayed signs reading ‘OUT OF ORDER’ in large letters. On close inspection with a magnifying glass, the very small print read ‘RBS and Nat West investment policy’. The possible effects of climate change on a number of countries were mapped on the pavement with chalk – disturbing before and after snapshots. As the refugees were all turned down for home loans, they carried a protest banner into the bank. Unfortunately, being weakened by loosing their homes, the refugees dropped the banner and, being weighted down with helium balloons, it drifted up and displayed itself from the ceiling for a good half an hour before staff managed to get it down.


Cardiff Action

15.10.2007 16:53

The main cardiff branch RBS on st Mary's Street was closed 3 hours after 20 activists entered the building causing distruption. Hundreds of leaflets were handed out and banners displayed outside. The process was repeated at Natwest afterwards.

Lots of Police were in attendance including intelligence gatherers. Photos to follow.

Cardiff Anarchist
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Photos from Aberytwyth RBS / Gnatwest Action

15.10.2007 18:04

Pictures from the aforementioned action outside Gnatwest, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion.

Sgt Sideshow

Don’t Bank On Oil In Bath

15.10.2007 21:01

As part of today’s national day of action against the Royal Bank of Scotland, 7 activists from Bath Activist Network picketed the RBS branch on Quiet Street in Bath, for two hours over lunch time. Banner on display, customers and passers-by were leafleted with mock-up imitation RBS literature and invitations to ‘Open an oil rig today!’, informing the public about the Terms and Consequences of banking with RBS, their dodgy investment record in fossil fuel extraction and aviation industries, and the 160,000 estimated global deaths a year due to the effects of climate change. Whilst staff and police complained about the seemingly out-of-order ATM outside their door, we listened to stories of customers’ poor treatment by their bank, and also helped at least the one student find more ethical options for his new account. Also bemusing were the members of public who mistook the business-suited activists for bank employees, and chatted about the service.

Matt Banning
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Bradford students leaflet campus Natwest

15.10.2007 22:13

Students from the university of Bradford People & Planet group leafleted at the Natwest branch on campus. That's all the details I know, hopefully more details to follow.

bradford local


15.10.2007 23:29

St Andrews Uni P&P also did some protest performance art - 'attempting' to open accounts in the town, etc.

Adam Ramsay
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16.10.2007 04:00

2 branches in edinburgh were given 'pollution awards' - along with various other posters about RBS policy. unfortunatly the police drove by while one branch was just being finished off, and took the still wet posters off. :( - next time...



Display the following 5 comments

  1. The REAL Action At Cardiff RBS — Brett Ayers
  2. Ooooooops. — Sgt Sideshow
  3. to Brett — Pam Ayres
  4. Reply to brett - c'm off it!! — one of cardiff anarchists
  5. Round-up final count - 32 actions! — Rising Tide