Extinction Rebellion (XR) Belgium will be joining the "Money Rebellion," an international wave of actions planned on the same day in many countries, by occupying the most symbolic places dedicated to finance in Brussels on Thursday 1st April at 11:00.
XR means to denounce the active part played by financial institutions in the unfair and destructive economic, financial and monetary system.
"The banking and financial sector is at the heart of a cultural, economic, social and political system which has proven to be toxic. Founded on the race for profit and growth, this system destroys ecosystems and deteriorates living conditions of populations. It is vital to put a stop to it," states Jean, XR spokesperson.
XR encourages everybody to join the action. Participants are invited to go to the pedestrian precinct in downtown Brussels on Thursday 1st April at 11:00 and wait for instructions which will be communicated on a Telegram channel: https://t.me/moneyrebellion
Big banks and large investment funds have long turned a blind eye to the dire consequences of their transactions. In spite of so-called "green" or "ethical" investments, it has become all too obvious that banks rarely keep their own promises — and even when they do, these commitments are not enough to halt the destruction of the environment and the exacerbation of economic precariousness for the most vulnerable groups.
In contempt of their pledges, from 2013 until 2018, BNP Paribas, ING and KBC invested more than 4 billion euros in companies responsible for deforestation and violations of human rights, linked with the fires in the Amazon forest. Since the signing of the Paris Agreement, BNP Paribas has invested more than 44 billion euros in the fossil fuel industry. Belfius still fails to communicate on the CO2 emissions related to its investments.
Furthermore, the international deployment of the financial sector and its powerful capital grants it colossal and illegitimate leverage over public policies and the economy.
The financial sector depends on the huge support from the European Central Bank to keep financing companies and thus keep making billions of euros of profit. This support from the ECB also means that banks and investors can keep pouring billions into fossil fuels and deforestation.
Disregarding the heavy criticism brought on by this decision, the EU has mandated BlackRock, one of the biggest investors in fossil fuel companies and deforestation, to determine which investments should benefit from tax cuts and subsidies in the European Green Deal. In other words, the companies that least care about the environment are tasked to lay down the guidelines for its preservation.
The financial sector purposefully misleads the public with talk of "green growth." Yet nothing indicates that economic growth can be decoupled from the growth of energetic consumption. Frantically looking for "green" substitutes that somehow fit the paradigm of growth and profit is not the way to tackle an ecological and social disaster that worsens every day. Instead, we must do away with this model and build a new economy that fits within the limits of our planet.
Extinction Rebellion calls for every individual and association to join the Money Rebellion:
- Tell the truth: Acknowledge that economic growth (even when "green") and the financialization of the economy are major causes of the ongoing ecological catastrophe and of the deterioration of living conditions for most of the population.
- Act now: Demand a transparent, legitimate and democratic process to lay down rules for all financial transactions in order to protect ecosystems and social justice and forbid all operations that break those rules.
- Move beyond partisan politics and illegitimate influences: Set off a transparent and democratic process that involves society as a whole to develop a new economic, financial and monetary system that actually champions the interests of the population instead of the dictates of perpetual growth.
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