Ten arrests after pro-Palestine protesters block entrances to City of London bank

Ten arrests after pro-Palestine protesters block entrances to City of London bank

Ten pro-Palestinian protesters have been arrested after blocking the entrances to a Canadian bank in the City of London.

The demonstrators, aged between 20 and 55, locked themselves to each other outside Scotiabank’s London office, close to Liverpool Street Station, in the early hours of Monday morning.

The City of London Police were alerted by the bank’s security that protesters had prevented people from entering the front and back of the office just before 6am.

Protesters from the Palestine Action group locked themselves in pairs outside the entrances and also sprayed the building with red paint using a fire extinguisher, police said.

Palestine Action claims that Scotiabank's subsidiary asset management fund 1832 Asset Management holds shares in the Israeli arms company Elbit.

The protest in Bishopsgate (City of London Police)
The protest in Bishopsgate (City of London Police)

In a post on social media the protest group said: “Palestine Action lock down all entrances into Scotiabank’s London office.

“Despite slashing their stake in half, the bank still invest over $230million in Israel’s biggest weapons firm, making them the largest foreign shareholder in Elbit Systems.”

The City of London Police confirmed it brought in a specialist team to assist in the removal of the protesters.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Doyle said: “We arrived shortly after 6am this morning and arrested ten protesters linked to Palestine Action.

“Criminal damage of businesses and institutions in The City of London will not be tolerated and will result in police action.”

Elsewhere members of the protest group vandalised a factory in Kent, throwing stock to the ground and smashing computers with a crowbar.

Seven people were arrested after activists filmed themselves breaking into Instro Precision in Sandwich in the early hours of Monday.

The protesters, wearing orange jumpsuits, were seen in video footage crawling through a smashed window.

Palestine Action said some had used rolls of spikes called stingers to stop vehicles getting into the site while the break-in took place.

It says that Instro Precision is owned by Elbit and produces military-grade electro-optical equipment.

A statement from Kent Police said: "Kent Police was called to a report of a protest at Discovery Park, Sandwich shortly before 3.30am on Monday 17 June 2024.

"Officers are currently at the scene and seven people have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary.

"They have been taken into custody and an investigation into the incident is under way."

Scotiabank declined to comment. Instro Precision has been approached for comment.