It’s been a great week for protest in the UK. From creative direct action by anti-frackers, to an attempted citizen’s arrest of a Saudi general, resistance is alive and kicking.
Reclaim the Power
Between 27 March and 10 April, Reclaim the Power are holding a “Break the Chain” fortnight of action against the fracking industry. Its aim is to draw attention to those who supply the fracking industry. Ash Hewitson from Reclaim the Power said:
Fracking companies don’t exist in isolation; and we can stop the industry if we cut it off from the systems it needs to survive. By taking out the links in the chain we can break the whole industry into pieces.
And there has been a range of creative actions. Aggregate Industries, Preston New Road fracking site suppliers were the first to be targeted. A group from Bristol Rising Tide blocked entry to the site by swinging from the height restriction bars outside it. This prevented lorries entering for 11 hours.
Other actions included satirical adverts, further blockades and disrupting a trade show. Protesters also threw a party at Centrica’s head office for CEO, Iain Conn. They congratulated him on his controversial £1.4 million ‘fracker’s bonus.’ Centrica was targeted due to its 25% stake in Cuadrilla’s Lancashire operations, of which £60 million directly supports exploration work.
One of those who took part said:
We’re here at Centrica’s offices to say congratulations to Iain on his well-deserved £1.4 million fracker’s bonus. Without his company bankrolling fracking in Lancashire, the industry would be dead in the water.
Fracking may be devastating to local communities and have no public backing, but kudos to Iain for sticking with it through the tough times. Going forward, we hope Centrica continues to profit from Lancashire’s sacrifices, and that you can use your millions to shield yourself from climate catastrophe.
On Tuesday 28 March, activists prevented a deportation flight taking off from Stanstead. 17 activists from End Deportations, Plane Stupid and Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants stopped the charter flight to Nigeria from taking off.
As The Canary previously reported, activists and passengers on the flight said deportees feared for their life. One man from Ghana said he would commit suicide if he returned; while another woman said her husband was waiting for her in order to kill her.
Unfortunately, a rescheduled charter flight was able to take off on Thursday. But this was still the first time a deportation flight has been stopped. And it shows what is possible.
The Saudi general
General Asiri was in London to talk about Yemen at a think tank on foreign policy. Sam Walton, who attempted to carry out the arrest stated:
Asiri represents a regime that has killed thousands in Yemen and shown a total contempt for international law. I tried to arrest him because of the war crimes he has overseen and propagated for, but he was surrounded by bodyguards who roughly forced me away.
This once more underscores the need to resolve the situation in Yemen without any further delay. There’s been a huge humanitarian cost.
But there seems to be no abatement in the relentless Saudi bombing campaign. A bombing campaign that UK companies are literally making a killing from.
But while resistance has been flourishing in progressive campaigns, it hasn’t been such a good week for the far right. Britain First held their April Fool’s Day march. And looked, well, foolish.
Only 300 people turned up. They had more flags than people and were protected by a large police presence:
More flags than people on the tiny Britain First march, standard. They've made their way onto Embankment followed by 8 cop vans. pic.twitter.com/mLPLqZNmXP
— London Anti-fascists (@ldnantifascists) April 1, 2017
And some claimed they resorted to carrying three flags each to look larger:
— MissDuffy (@MissDuffyAFA) April 1, 2017
Meanwhile, large numbers of anti-fascists took to the streets in an attempt to stop them from marching. And to let them know they are not welcome. And this is something even Paul Golding recognised:
But there’s no shame in marching against fascists.
Resistance and rebellion
Across the country, this week has shown resistance is alive and well in the UK. Now it’s just down to all of us to keep up the good work.
– Support grassroots action against fascism.
– Support Campaign Against Arms Trade.
– Support Reclaim the Power
– Support Stop Charter Flights – End Deportations
Featured image via Reclaim the Power
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?