RBS Targeted in Leeds after Cuts Announcement

Tagged as: economic_crisis
Neighbourhoods: leeds

Today, Thursday 21st October, protesters targeted RBS branches across Leeds. Early this morning the RBS headquarters on East Parade and the main NatWest branch on Park Row were attacked with paint, sand and glue. The buildings and pavement were sprayed with the messages “Banks get Bailouts, We get Cuts” and “Cut This!”

 

The action coincides with the government’s announcement of its four-year Comprehensive Spending Review which details the austerity programme being pushed onto the British public.

One of the protesters explained “RBS was targeted as an example of the hypocrisy of government spending priorities. In the past two years, RBS has received billions of pounds of public money, to the point where it is now 84% owned by the UK public. The continual cuts to the public sector are affecting the UK’s most vulnerable communities. Our health, education and social services are suffering as a result of bailing out the actions of irresponsible bankers.”

The action coincides with mass protests across the UK, with 3,000 converging in London on Wednesday. Mirroring the situation in France, anger has led protesters to take more radical action, with dozens breaking into the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills in Whitehall.

Another of those involved claimed “We felt we had to take action because we think banks, and the economic system that they represent, have far too much power and influence over our daily lives. We have also taken action in solidarity with the continual strikes in France and across Europe. The public shouldn’t be footing the bill for the deficits and crisis that they have created. Why should we pay for their crisis?”

RBS has faced intense pressure from various groups over the last few months. In September, a NatWest branch in Bristol had its windows smashed. NatWest is part of the RBS group. In August, 1,000 activists from the Camp for Climate Action went to Edinburgh, the global headquarters of RBS, where windows were broken, branches vandalised and adverts subverted.