Quakers lead musical protest against HSBC
‘HSBC is the world’s sixth biggest funder of fossil fuel expansion.'
A Bristol Friend led a peaceful protest against the bank HSBC demanding that it stop fossil fuel investment. Quaker Jo Flanagan took part in the musical protest targeting the institute’s annual general meeting (AGM) on 29 April. Quaker Julia Bush told the Friend: ‘HSBC is the world’s sixth biggest funder of fossil fuel expansion, including new coal power stations, and is also heavily invested in Russian oil and gas companies. Shortly after the AGM began, a flash mob of singers interrupted HSBC chairman Mark Tucker’s speech by singing a revised version of the Abba hit ‘Money, Money, Money’ (‘All the lives we could save, If they put all of their money into solar, wind and wave…’).
‘Other Quakers played a leading part both in the musical intervention and the street theatre outside, where drunken bankers toasted their fossil-fuelled profits with cigars and champagne flutes full of fake oil.’
Jo Flanagan, from the Bristol EarthQuakes Extinction Rebellion (XR) affinity group, told the media: ‘Our central charge against HSBC is that they appear to see nothing wrong in making a profit by trashing our planet. If shareholders think it’s OK to continue investing with HSBC, we would urge them to consider how they will explain that decision to their children.’
The action was taken by Money Rebellion, a group within XR specifically targeting financial institutions. Two days after the protest, a video of the AGM disruption had received over a million views on TikTok, and 237,000 ‘likes’. It was also tweeted over 80,000 times on Twitter, and reached the website of The Independent.
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