Climate protesters primed for 'day of action' at RBS

PROTESTERS gathered in their hundreds today amid a huge police presence at Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters at the start of what campaigners promised would be a "day of action" against the bank.

Many Royal Bank of Scotland staff were advised to work from home as the climate activists targeted the Gogarburn HQ.

Over the weekend, demonstrators from the Camp for Climate Action established in the grounds at Gogarburn, claimed to have super-glued the doors shut at one Edinburgh branch and forced another to close by performing a dance show on the premises.

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Details of today's action were being kept under wraps. Groups of activists were said to have their own plans, which were not necessarily known to organisers. But a spokesman said people could expect "more of the same".

The campaigners accuse RBS of using taxpayers' money to prop up fossil fuel companies who they say are destroying the planet.

Early today, police were carrying out checks on people arriving at the Gogarburn site.

The atmosphere at the protest camp was subdued as activists sheltered from the rain.

It is understood there were two arrests when more than a hundred demonstrators dressed in white biohazard suits breached police lines at the Gogarburn HQ at 5pm yesterday. Considerable damage was said to have been done to the building.

Activists claim they forced several RBS branches in the city centre to close at the weekend. Several groups descended with weapons including superglue and stink bombs to cause disruption.

They say they superglued branch doors closed on Friday night, graffitied RBS logos around the city and let off stink bombs, "forcing four or five" branches to close on Saturday.

Protesters also performed a song called Dirty oil - a spoof version of the Lady Gaga song Pokerface - and hijacked the RBS-sponsored stage on the Royal Mile.

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Ruth McTernan, from the Climate Camp, said: "These investments are filling the atmosphere with the stench of carbon and hastening catastrophic climate change, so we gave RBS a sample of their emissions."

An RBS spokesman confirmed vandalism at some branches, but added that if any closed it was for "a matter of minutes" or at times when branches were due to close.

Richard Bernard, a spokesman for the protest, said he was "really pleased" with the way things had gone. He said: "There have been a lot of small groups going into Edinburgh and taking action against RBS with their creative ways such as singing and so on.They have been doing things which have pushed the boundaries a bit, making RBS close their branches and hit the economically."