Doctors stage XR die-in outside JP Morgan offices in London

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Doctors stage XR die-in outside JP Morgan offices in London

Sixty medical professionals including nurses hold protest to highlight fossil fuel investments

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Protesters on the pavement outside JP Morgan

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Last modified on Fri 3 Sep 2021 09.04 EDT

Sixty doctors, nurses and other health professionals have staged a die-in protest outside JP Morgan’s Canary Wharf headquarters in London to highlight the bank’s investment in fossil fuels.

The protest on Friday was organised by one of Extinction Rebellion’s groups, Doctors for Extinction Rebellion. The climate activist medics said this was their biggest protest so far and that JP Morgan was the biggest funder of coal, oil and gas extraction.

The demonstration was part of a two-week series of XR protests against organisations supporting fossil fuels.

The medics delivered a letter referring to the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and the International Energy Association’s “net zero by 2050” report.

The words “code red” were sprayed on low walls in front of the building with chalk spray as medics called for the bank to stop investing in fossil fuels, the biggest driver of climate change. They warned the climate emergency and ecological breakdown was driving a public health crisis. The group called on JP Morgan to fit its pledges to the IEA report and set an absolute emissions target rather than its current carbon intensity target.

A protester is carried away by security guards

Canary Wharf’s private security guards swiftly removed the protesters who sat or lay on the pavement. The die-in was staged to symbolise the deaths caused by fossil fuel investment.

Dozens of uniformed police observed while the security guards told protesters and observers they were not allowed to stand on the pavement “because it is private property”.

It is the second time this week JP Morgan has been targeted by protesters. On Wednesday eight female activists used hammers and chisels to break two windows at the bank’s Victoria Embankment office in central London.

On Friday, the group of health professionals, who have received public support from the World Health Organization’s director general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and the editor of the Lancet, Dr Richard Horton, delivered a letter addressed to JP Morgan’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon.

They read extracts from a report by the Rainforest Action Network that condemns JP Morgan’s targets to tackle the climate emergency as “flatly insufficient”.

Dr Chris Newman, a GP and co-founder of Doctors for Extinction Rebellion, said: “Climate change is at our door, and has entered our hospitals. JP Morgan is risking the lives of vulnerable children around the world, as well as my patients and my family.”

Dr Grace Thompson, a Gloucestershire GP, said: “These people are killing our kids and killing kids in the global south. We just need to stop investing in fossil fuels. JP Morgan need to make their money in a different way.”

Andrew Stevenson, a consultant trauma surgeon from Somerset, said: “It’s beholden on me to act when I see there’s a risk to my patients and to alert others to that damage. The climate crisis is a public health emergency that even with our best efforts will escalate. If we continue to burn fossil fuels we will burn our children’s future and that of our children’s children.”

JP Morgan has been approached for comment.

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