'Palestine Action' activists smash windows of Bristol Barclays branch in 'coordinated attack'

All the windows have been smashed at the Broadmead branch of Barclays bank.

A Barclays Bank branch in Bristol city centre has been left with shattered windows and covered in red paint following a "co-ordinated attack" by a pro-Palestine group.

Palestine Action claimed responsibility for the incident, saying its activists vandalised the bank in Broadmead overnight as part of a "coordinated attack" on branches across the UK.

Twenty branches - including branches in Brighton and Glasgow - were targeted in the attack which happened in the early hours of Monday 10 June.

A spokesperson for Barclays said: “While we support the right to protest, we ask that campaigners do so in a way which respects our customers, colleagues and property.”

The bank has been cordoned off following the attack.

Palestine Action said it is aiming to pressure the bank into withdrawing investment from Israel's weapons trade and fossil fuels.

The group says it partnered with Shut the System, a recently launched underground climate movement, to launch the attacks.

According to the groups, targeted actions "will continue to escalate" until Barclays stops investing in certain companies.

"Barclays Bank is funding the crises of climate collapse and genocide in Palestine," a Palestine Action spokesperson said.

They added: "Decades of polite campaigning, petitions, letter writing and lobbying MPs have failed. We will continue until Barclays pulls its finger out and stops funding genocide and climate destruction."

The facade of the building has been sprayed with red paint.

A spokesperson for Barclays said the bank provides "vital services to US, UK and European public companies that supply defence products to NATO and its allies.

"Barclays does not directly invest in these companies," they added.

A spokesperson added: "The defence sector is fundamental to our national security and the UK government has been clear that supporting defence companies is compatible with ESG considerations.

"Decisions on the implementation of arms embargos to other nations are the job of respective elected governments."

Avon and Somerset Police said a cordon is currently in place while crime scene investigators examine the area and the bank is made secure.

A spokesperson for the force said: "Officers attended and searched the building and nearby streets but the offenders had already left. It’s not believed they entered the building.

"A hammer and a can of paint have been recovered and CCTV enquiries are ongoing."

Investigating officers are keen to speak to anyone who saw three people wearing balaclavas leave Broadmead on bicycles shortly after the damage was caused.

They are urging anyone with information or footage to contact the force.