On Saturday the 29th of October, activists who associate with Extinction Rebellion (XR) locked themselves onto a pillar in the ING-office in the Molenstraat. With this action, XR protests against investments by ING in the fossil industry. ‘Every euro we invest in that, is an investment in our own demise.’
At five to twelve, a couple of XR-activists walked into the ING-office to chain themselves onto a pillar. The rest of the activists gathered outside with banners, distributed flyers and made their message known via a megaphone. Additionally, tape with the words ‘crime scene’ on it was taped onto the building to clarify that ING is a ‘climate criminal’. The activists demanded ING stop financing and providing service to the fossil industry, and stated they would only leave when their demands were met. The office was closed the rest of the day.
This action was nationally coordinated by XR, and was carried out at multiple ING-offices. The idea was that the action would take place at twelve offices. In this way, they appealed to ING to stop investing in the fossil industry. At this moment, the bank invests an average of nine billion a year in this industry. ‘In that way, they finance the climate crisis. Every euro we invest in that, is an investment in our own demise’, says Maarten Frijlink, spokesperson for XR.
With this action, XR wants to make ING change their stance. ‘We are completely in despair about the current climate crisis’, Frijlink says. ‘The last thing you need to do in this situation is continue to invest, but the Dutch financial sector keeps doing exactly that.’ On Tuesday, research by Profundo, which was commissioned by Milieudefensie, was published, which showed that in this sector, ING financed the most fossil fuel emissions. ‘ING sticks out like a sore thumb’, the spokesperson says.
This is the ninth action XR carries out at ING-offices. ‘The ING does not want to talk to us’, Frijlink says. ‘At a certain moment, the police shows up and the action is put down’, he continues. According to the spokesperson, this always ends in a couple of arrests and he expects that will happen this time as well. ‘Therefore, we have the phone number of the lawyer and extra people on our arm’, he says. ‘We will keep coming back until our demands are met. This could be a long wait, but we are prepared to do that until there is white smoke coming out of the chimney of the Zuidas.’
This article was published in Dutch on October 29th 2022.