Rise Up for Change focuses on the Swiss National Bank

4.8.21 - After the big blockade of the Paradeplatz in Zurich and several buildings of Credit Suisse and UBS, 'Rise Up for Change' continues to draw attention to the climate-destroying cash flow of Swiss financial institutions, using an array of creative, decentralised actions. The focus is now turned towards the Swiss National Bank (SNB), which as a public institution plays a particularly problematic role in investments in oil, coal and gas. The action week will end with a rally in Bern on the 6th of August.

Successful blockade of the Paradeplatz

Early on Monday morning, the climate movement surprised the public with colourful and creative acts of civil disobedience. Around 200 people occupied the entrances of the Credit Suisse headquarters on Paradeplatz as well as the buildings of the nearby UBS office for several hours. The activists made a powerful statement against the massive investments and financing by Swiss financial institutions in coal, oil and gas. "The big banks and other financial institutions are putting the lives of millions of people around the world at risk by contributing to the current climate crisis and fuelling another 4-6°C of global warming", says Emma Müller, spokesperson of the Action Alliance. After almost 48 hours of arrest, the last person has finally been released from custody. All 83 detained activists are now free again.

Swiss National Bank in focus

However, the 'Rise Up for Change' action week is not yet over. In the next few days, the climate justice movement will turn its attention to the Swiss National Bank (SNB). Despite scientific evidence, this public institution continues to invest in oil, coal and gas. The SNB currently holds shares worth 5.5 billion in companies that support fossil fuels. "We are demanding something which should be common sense: that the SNB immediately stops investing in projects and companies that violate human rights and destroy ecosystems", says Guillaume Durin, spokesperson for 'Rise Up for Change'. To emphasise this demand, the action alliance is calling for a final rally on Münsterplatz in Bern on the 6th of August at 12:30.

Small actions and climate camp

With various small group actions, the activists continue to confront the financial institutions over their inaction regarding climate policy. The focus of these creative actions is on the SNB and the greenwashing of Credit Suisse and UBS. Until the final rally in Bern, the activists will continue to camp on the Stadionbrache in Zurich, where a diverse programme with workshops and informative events on the topic of the financial sector are planned. Today at 10:30, a public discussion on the demands of the action alliance will take place, to which media professionals and employees of financial institutions are also invited.


Contacts and images

Media spokespersons:
  • Frida Kohlmann (D, E): +41 77 925 41 48
  • Stephanie Wyss (D, E): +41 52 770 12 24
  • Emma Müller (D, E): +41 76 635 79 24
  • Floriano Crivelli (I): +41 78 825 71 86
  • Guillaume Durin (F, E): +41 77 247 04 94

About us:
"Rise Up for Change" is a project launched by various groups and individuals in the Swiss climate justice movement. This includes Climate Strike Switzerland, Collective Climate Justice, Extinction Rebellion Switzerland, Collectif Break Free as well as individuals and other activists from different groups. As a movement, we stand together in solidarity for climate justice and a life worth living for all.

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