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Sunday, 18 November 2012


 Outside Barclays Bank yesterday in Wrexham to stand in solidarity with the people of Gaza
Barclays the largest investor in Global arms has £7.3 billion in shares and is amonsgst the top 10 largest investor in US arms companies.
-HSBC holds shares worth £450 million and has loaned £27 Billion to the industry.
-Lloyds holds shares worth £717 Million and serves as principle banker to BAE Systems.
-Aviva, AXA, Standard life and many other well known companies invest in the arms trade.


  Protesters yesterday handed out flyers to Barclays' customers, who were also confronted with a large board directly opposite the bank's shopfront entrance alerting them to Barclays' links to the global arms trade and Israel. The flyers included information about how Barclays profits from death, destruction and Israeli Apartheid, as well as a little background to the current escalation of the conflict by Israel and the terrible consequences for the Palestinian people of the Operation 'Cast Lead' bombardment of Gaza in 2008-9. Customers were encouraged to boycott the bank.
   Barclays Bank are profiting from EDO’s complicity in civilian deaths in Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq. Barclays are the largest UK investor in the global arms trade. Bankers and institutional investors are the glue that finances the state terror wreaked by the arms trade.
Companies like EDO do not operate in a vacuum but are propped up by the networks of corporations and investors which constitute the global capitalist system which puts profit before peace, greed before people.
  As ITT Exelis’ market maker, Barclays act as a middle man, purchasing shares from a seller and holding them until such a time as a buyer becomes available. This ensures the stability of Exelis’ share price by allowing shareholders to sell off their assets at any time, even when a a buyer is not immediately available, and vice versa. Barclays also profits from this enterprise by selling Exelis’ shares at a small markup, which nevertheless generates considerable income when spread across large sales.

Barclays capital are the New York Stoke Exchange (NYSE) market maker for ITT Exelis. ITT Exelis own EDO MBM.
For more information on ‘market makers’ click here.

Photo: “ When Israelis in the occupied territories now claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are crushing... You can't defend yourself when you're militarily occupying someone else's land. That's not defense. Call it what you like, it's not defense.”
~ * Noam Chomsky * ~
A single picture can speak a thousand words 

 “ When Israelis in the occupied territories now claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are crushing... You can't defend yourself when you're militarily occupying someone else's land. That's not defense. Call it what you like, it's not defense.”
~ * Noam Chomsky * ~

   New research today reveals that all of Britain’s main high street banks are using customers’ money to finance the weapons industry, including the sale of cluster bombs which kill and maim innocent civilians.
  The report, launched by the anti-poverty charity War on Want as UN Disarmament Week starts, exposes for the first time how the lenders back the arms trade with billions of pounds from consumers’ savings and current accounts. War on Want says its evidence will increase public mistrust of banks, which has soared amid the current financial crisis.
The charity is calling on the British government to move towards regulation that would stop high street banks funding the arms trade. War on Want says banks are making a killing from a weapons industry which fuels conflict, poverty and human rights abuses around the world in countries such as Israel, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
  The study is drawn from databases AMADEUS and ORBIS that until now have only been seen by the financial sector and a select number of academics. Both HSBC and Barclays invest in companies that produce cluster munitions and depleted uranium. In the last decade HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB and Barclays have provided loans to at least one producer of cluster munitions. According to HSBC's corporate social responsibility policy, the bank claims to "avoid certain types of business, such as financing weapons manufacture and sales".
  Yet HSBC is main banker to UK arms firms BAE Systems and Meggitt, holds shares in the global weapons industry totalling £450.6 million and over the last 10 years has been part of 43 syndicated loans to the arms sector worth £27.1 billion. Each of the banks hold shares in all of Britain’s top arms firms, with Barclays’ holdings in the global arms sector worth £7.3 billion.
  The Royal Bank of Scotland heads the lenders' funding of weapons companies, at £44.6 billion in the past decade. All five top lenders act as principal banker to at least two of the leading British arms manufacturers. Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland are bankers to four of the biggest ten firms. Last year the UK topped the list of global arms exporters with a record £10 billion ($19 billion) in orders, more than any other country.
  According to the UN, civilians represent nine in 10 people killed or wounded in armed conflict. Ruth Tanner, Director of Campaigns and Policy at War on Want, said: "People have seen the mess that the banks have made with customers' money. But few know they are using our cash to fund arms companies. The British government must introduce regulation to stop banks making a killing from the arms trade."

Two people an hour are killed or injured by cluster munitions. One in four cluster munitions casualties are children. Cluster bombs have killed and injured tens of thousands of civilians in the last 40 years
PLEAES WATCH THIS VIDEO It shows you the billions of dollers that banks are pumping into funding cluster bombs 

  Despite global calls for a ban, banks continue pumping billions into cluster munitions, including two of Britain’s biggest names: HSBC has underwritten $665 million bonds for Textron, the US firm which claims its products leave a “clear battlefield.” Barclays Bank lent $222 million, as well as funding Lockheed Martin.While nations sign up to a convention to outlaw clusters, lenders are dodging the detail.

There are currently 77 nations who stock cluster bombs.
With 31 countries still polluted and suffering the after effects of the munitions.
98% of cluster bomb casualties are civilians.
And 30% of those are children.
That's according to Handicap International.
Britain is not alone. Citigroup and Deutsche Bank have loaned more than a billion dollars between them. Campaigners say if their everyday customers knew where their money was going, they would be furious.

“They have customers worldwide who have given their trust in these companies and we feel it is up to these banks to end this involvement because these customers do not want their money to be invested in these producers of cluster munitions,”
said Esther Vanderbroek of Netwerk Vlaanderen.

  The activists’ protests demanded answers from London’s banks. Only Barclays responded, touting its anti-cluster policy, but admitting it lent money to Textron as a “broad-based weapons manufacturer.”
  90 countries have committed to banning clusters by next year, but only a quarter have so far made it law. The US has not even signed up. Israel used them against Lebanon in 2006, and they have been used in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
  Governments and weapons manufacturers undoubtedly have blood on their hands over cluster munitions. But although lawmakers may be in charge, it is the banks which hold the keys to the cash. Campaigners say that, until they work together, there is little to stop the trade in gruesome, horrific death

  Barclays is listed as banker to a number of arms manufacturers including BAe systems, VT Group, Cobham and Meggitt. The bank also invests in a number of arms companies including BAE Systems, Rolls Royce, QinetiQ, GKN, Babcock, Ultra Electronic, Chemring, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, EADS, Finmeccanica, United Technologies, and ATK.
Moreover the bank even has investments in five companies (GenCorp, Lockheed Martin,    Textron, Raytheon and Thales) that produce cluster munitions, a weapon strongly criticised by campaigners the world over for its long term impact on civilians.
Corporate Watch recently called for direct action against Barclays Bank as the British bank with the most substantial investments in Israeli companies, including companies based in Israeli settlements.
  The bank also had operation in a number of other oppressive regimes including Zimbabwe; Saudi Arabia; Israel; Nigeria; Pakistan; India; the Philippines; China and Russia

The treatment of its customers doesn't appear to be much better.

  Last year Barclays was fined twice by the Financial Services Authority within the space of a week. The first fine, of £7.7m was for failing in the advice it gave to customers and selling them investments that were completely unsuitable. The second, of £1.1m, was for breaching rules on handling client money, failing to ring-fence it for the appropriate length of time.

  With investment in everything from tar sands to cluster munitions Barclays is as far from ethical as you can get. The company might have an 'Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) policy" but it's out of date (from 2009, with targets set for 2010 that it missed) and fails to mask the blatant disregard the company shows for both the environment and society through its investments and banking relationships.

Boycott Barclays poster from the 70s - Don't Bank on Apartheid
Boycott Barclays poster from the 70s - Don't Bank on Apartheid Barclays was also a major supporter of the South African Apartheid regime and was the subject of a concerted boycott campaign in the 70s and 80s, eventually pulling out of South Africa in the mid-80s

If this is upsetting you, then do something about it! Raise awareness about the role of banks in fuelling conflict! Cancel your account with your high street bank.
Unless your with the Co-operative Bank. The bank, as far as I'm aware, you can trust! Watch this Co-operative video 'There's is a Landmine in Your Cinema'

The Co-operative Bank’s Ethical Policy is based on extensive consultation with customers and reflects their ethical concerns surrounding how their money should and should not be invested. It also informs the The Co‑operative Bank's choice of partners and suppliers.
The policy covers the following issues:

  • Human Rights
  • The Arms Trade
  • Corporate Responsibility and Global Trade
  • Genetic Modification
  • Social Enterprise
  • Ecological Impact
  • Animal Welfare
During 2005, The Co-operative Bank turned away some 30 businesses whose activities were in conflict with their customers’ ethical concerns. As a result, income worth some £10 million was denied to the Bank. At the same time, significant monies were directed to businesses whose activities were supportive of the Bank's customer’s ethical priorities.


Here are the lyrics

In a weapons producing nation under Jesus
In the fabled crucible of the free world
Camera crews search for clues amid the detritus
And entertainment shapes the land
The way the hammer shapes the hand

Gleaming faces in the checkout counter at the Church of Fame
The lucky winners cheer Casino Nation
All those not on TV only have themselves to blame
And don't quite seem to understand
The way the hammer shapes the hand

Out beyond the ethernet the spectrum spreads
DC to daylight, the cowboy mogul rides
Never worry where the gold for all this glory's gonna come from
Get along dogies, it's coming out of your hides

The intentional cultivation of a criminal class
The future lit by brightly burning bridges
Justice fully clothed to hide the heart of glass
That shatters in a thousand Ruby Ridges
And everywhere the good prepare for perpetual war
And let their weapons shape the plan
The way the hammer shapes the hand

Lyrics by Jackson Browne
Music by Jackson Browne, Kevin McCormick, Mark Goldenberg, Mauricio Lewak, Jeff Young

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