PROTESTERS have graffitied Barclays bank in Stroud to show their displeasure at the company’s investment in fracking.

The slogan #ToxicBankers, FRACK OFF and DIVEST NOW have been spray painted on the side of the King Street bank by the group Rising Up!

They claim the bank has a 97 per cent stake in Third Energy, a corporation seeking fracking in the Ryedale area of Yorkshire, they say this places them “on the wrong side of history”.

On top of this they also say Barclays are the banker for and fourth largest investor in IGas Energy, which has the most oil and gas exploration licences in the UK.

Police officers are on the site of the Stroud protest, but merely to ensure the campaigners are acting peacefully and are not disturbing the public.

A spokesperson for Rising Up! who was on megaphone duties in Stroud, Dr Gail Bradbrook, said: "We’ve had enough of the pretence that Britain has a real democracy.

"It’s all about lining the pockets of rich people, banks and corporations, and that’s not good for anyone ultimately.

"It’s time the British people started to rise up, it’s the only way things will change."

The campaigners state that because the graffiti was applied with chalk paint it will wash off with water and not damage the building.

One member, George Barda, said: "Fracking is plain dangerous. There are plenty of examples of fracking trashing land and making water toxic, it’s been banned in loads of places as a result.

"Starting it here is madness. Those in charge ignore the inconvenient facts of climate change and don’t give a damn about what happens to local communities.

"We are doing this in solidarity with those fighting fracking and oil pipelines here and overseas."

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a drilling method which uses high-pressure water to release shale gas deposits from the ground.

More than 100 licences have been awarded to firms by the UK government for oil and gas exploration.

Campaigners state that harmful chemicals can contaminate water supplies close to fracking sites as they are released along with shale gas through the drilling process.

All photos and video by Simon Pizzey