Anti-capitalist group targets French banks a decade after Lehman Brothers disappeared

PARIS (Reuters) – Anti-globalization activists threw liquid black soap on the front of a bank in Paris on Saturday, one of several actions planned in France and Germany to protest against banking practices a decade after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Speaking out against tax evasion and mega-investments in fossil fuels by the world’s largest banks, protesters in the French capital lit orange smoke bombs and spilled fluorescent green liquid on the sidewalk to symbolize what ‘they called toxic silver.

“The big banks are an engine of tax evasion”, declared Aurélie Trouve, spokesperson for Attac France.

Thomas Coutrot, another member, said he was convinced that ten years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the world economy was heading into a new crisis.

“It’s inevitable, there is going to be another crisis,” Coutrot said.

“This is absurd and we are not giving in to it.”

The demise of Lehman Brothers, an American investment bank, triggered the onset of the global financial crisis from which much of the industrialized world has yet to recover.

Some key eurozone economies have still not returned to their pre-crisis size despite a decade of stimulus measures, and there has been a sharp decline in support for traditional centrist parties, especially on the left, as the anti-establishment parties are mushrooming.

In Frankfurt, seat of the European Central Bank, the Attac demonstrators stretched “crime scene” tape in front of the Stock Exchange and coated a statue of a bull with paint.

“We want to take this event to clearly show that we want a different financial system, which is not unstable, which is democratically controlled and which does not exploit humans and nature but is beneficial for humans and nature”, declared Alfred Eibl, Attac. spokesperson for taxes and financial markets.

Report by Ardee Napolitano in Paris and Reuters TV in Frankfurt; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Andrew Bolton

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Estelle D. Eden

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