Flares inside the BlackRock (Direct Action News, 3 to 9 April 2023)

Protesters let off flares inside the BlackRock building in Paris

Just Stop Oil bridge-climbers found guilty

Basildon Crown Court found Morgan Trowland and Marcus Decker guilty of causing a public nuisance on 4 April. The pair had brought the Dartford Crossing to a standstill between 4am on 17 October and 9pm on 18 October 2022, as part of a Just Stop Oil protest. During the trial, Trowland said he and Decker had climbed the bridge to “deliver a warning message” and to demand the government stops licensing oil and gas production.

This Machine Kills Kids

The Tyre Extinguishers (TX) umbrella name has been active around Europe and the world for some time now. We’ve neglected to mention it so far here on DAN, but not this week. On 5 April, the group’s social media account put out a claim from Bristol that activists had spray painted ‘This Machine Kills Kids’ – a play on the “This Machine Kills Fascists” slogan made famous by Woody Guthrie – on the side of six SUVs. While local news reported the actions as “sinister”, TX is essentially campaigning to raise awareness of the unnecessary proliferation of SUVs. These vehicles are particularly polluting, plus they are connected with high rates of accidents involving pedestrians.

French trade unionists storm BlackRock building in Paris

Striking rail workers in France occupied the Paris offices of US investment company BlackRock on 6 April. The company administers pension funds. This made it a red rag for protesters and strikers in France, who’ve taken direct action since January against their government’s pension reforms. Videos show people entering the building with smoke flares and occupying the building, waving flags and singing, for approximately 10 minutes.

Moroccans protest cost of living crisis

Left-wing political parties called for rallies across Morocco on 8 April to protest the cost of living crisis. Like people in countries across the world, many in Morocco are facing difficulties in getting by day to day. The left-wing coalition Social Front led calls for protests outside the parliamentary building in Rabat, the country’s capital. Meanwhile, people gathered in other towns and cities across the country, including Casablanca, Tangier and Marakesh. Africa News reported one demonstrator saying:

I can’t take it anymore, life has become painful because of the price increase

I feel that I have no future

Cornwall pro-refugee demo goes ahead

Anti-fascists went ahead with a demo in Newquay on 9 April, despite the government having already moved asylum seekers. The demo was originally organised to counter one planned by nationalists and racists at the Beresford Hotel. The building has been the site of several protests over the past few months. However, the government moved the residents from the hotel on 6 April. Nonetheless, Cornish anti-fascists held their demo as a symbol of defiance. No racists turned up.