Action Against Landlords and Planet Killers (Direct Action News, 27 March to 2 April 2023)

Banner hung from gas plant towers saying "Burn cars, not gas"

Acorn Bristol defeat one letting agent’s disgusting ‘rental bidding’ practice

Acorn Bristol reported success on 27 March in stopping a local estate agent from using rental bidding. This disgusting practice sees letting agents asking applicants to bid on what they’re willing to pay to live in a property. This can include figures above the monthly asking price, as well as covering months of rental ahead of time. Acorn Bristol’s action shows that direct action can work in any sector.

Direct action against the European Gas Conference

Block Gas Alliance undertook multiple days of direct action against the European Gas Conference. The event was held in Vienna from 27 to 28 March. On the day before it began, approximately 40 people from the direct action group shut down a private air terminal used by attendees of the conference. Then, on 27 March, hundreds of people blocked roads around the conference venue. The following day, the group said 300 activists stopped road and rail access to an oil refinery owned by OMV, an Austrian fossil fuels company sponsoring the event. And on 29 March, the group gatecrashed a champagne party at the conference.

Palestine Action strikes again

People under the Palestine Action banner attacked the office of ADS Group on 28 March. ADS Group is a trade association for the UK’s arms industry and supports, among many other companies, Elbit Systems. Palestine Action has focused its direct action against Elbit, which manufactures arms for the Israel’s oppression of Palestine. In the 28 March action, Palestine Action drenched the headquarters of ADS Group with red paint and said that companies that “deal with Elbit, [must] expect Palestine Action”.

Solidarity actions against the gas industry

While Block Gas Alliance was targeting the European Gas Conference, other ecological activists took action against gas power plants in Germany on 29 March. One group climbed a plant tower in Jena-Winzerla to hoist a banner saying “Burn cars, not gas”, while another summited a plant in Erlangen to raise a banner reading “Exit gas now”. A third banner was also flown in Berlin reading “Runter vom gas”, an apparent play on words meaning both ‘slow down’ and ‘down with gas’.

Trans Day of Vengeance

31 March saw the international ‘Trans Day of Visibility’ event marked by rallies in several countries worldwide. This included Melbourne, Australia, which just two weeks previously saw high-profile British transphobe Posie Parker (Kellie-Jay Keen) attract sieg heiling Nazis to the city. However, the trans event passed off calmly and included an appearance by Dykes on Bikes. Things became more heated in Washington DC, USA, though, where a fight broke out between fascists and trans accomplices during what activists dubbed the Trans Day of Vengeance. Twitter user Goad Gatsby shared a video of one fascist starting to pull pepper spray before one anti-fascist quickly tackles him to the ground. When fascist number two attempts to intervene, other anti-fascists give the goon a quick send off.

Housing activists occupy Department of Housing in Dublin

Tenants union CATU Ireland occupied the Department of Housing building in Dublin on 31 March. The group is protesting the government’s decision to lift a temporary ban on evictions. The ban was initially drafted in October 2022 to stop people losing their houses during the winter months. It was always set to end on 31 March. As a result, according to the Irish Independent, thousands of people received eviction notices on 1 April. CATU Ireland described the lifting of the eviction ban as “cruel”, and in a speech given during the occupation said evictions “destroy the lives and wellbeing of those affected”.

Featured image via Klimagerechtigkeit Jena/Twitter