Anti-globalisation activists threw black liquid soap across the glass-front of a bank in Paris yesterday, one of several actions planned in France and Germany in protest against banking practices a decade after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
Railing against tax fraud and mega-investments in fossil fuels by the world’s biggest banks, the protesters in the French capital lit orange smoke bombs and spilled a fluorescent green liquid on the pavement to symbolise what they called toxic money.
“Big banks are a driving force of fiscal evasion,” said Aurelie Trouve, a spokeswoman for Attac France.
Thomas Coutrot, another member, said he was convinced that ten years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers the global economy was heading for another crisis.
“It’s inevitable, there’s going to be another crisis,” Coutrot said. “It’s absurd and we’re not giving into that.”
The demise of Lehman Brothers, a US investment bank, triggered the onset of the global financial crisis from which much of the industrialised world has yet to recover.
Some key eurozone economies are still not back to their pre-crisis size despite a decade of stimulus and there has been a sharp fall in support for traditional centrist parties, especially on the left, as anti-establishment parties surge.
In Frankfurt, home of the European Central Bank, Attac protesters strung up “crime scene” tape in front of the Stock Exchange and daubed a bull statue with paint.
“We want to use this event to make clear that we want a different financial system, one that is not unstable, which is democratically controlled and which does not exploit humans and nature but is beneficial to humans and nature,” said Alfred Eibl, Attac spokesman for taxes and financial markets.
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