Thousands join The Cost of Living Crisis - We Can't Pay protests across the nation, here are some ground reports
London - Sandra Keen
Members from all parts of the left came together in Parliament Square to tell this Tory government that we will not pay for the cost of living crisis. Calls for free energy and a windfall tax were made with rapturous applause. Defiant speakers from striking security guards at Great Orford Street, Fuel Poverty Action, Stop the War, DPAC and others made it clear that the poorest in our communities, people, many of who have kept us safe throughout the pandemic are suffering the most, making choices between heating and eating, whilst the richest get richer and shareholders dividends soar and we will not stand for it!
The crowd was upbeat and determined to fight with calls of solidarity for the growing number of strikes being met with cheers and whistles. The message is clear, the cost of living crisis, we can’t pay, we WON'T PAY!!!
Manchester - Jack Hopkins
Great turnout on a rainy day in a true united front against the cost-of-living crisis, with representation from a wide spectrum of groups. The message is loud and clear that Manchester opposes the Tories, specifically around the energy cap and the economic system we live under. We’ve just heard from brilliant speakers calling for nationalisation of energy, a high windfall tax on oil & gas profiteers, control of rents and more. With music from PCS Samba Band, we will now march around the city in solidarity with comrades across the UK. Cap energy bills now. Solidarity is the strongest weapon.
Hastings - Mikey Huguenot
Before their official relaunch, Hastings People’s Assembly responded to the hike in fuel prices and cost of living crisis with a rapidly organised stall in the town centre. An encouraging number of Hastonians signed up to both a letter to Conservative MP Sally-Ann Hart and the mailing list, and some engaged discussions took place despite the bitter wind blowing through the town.
Glasgow - Vladimir Unkovski-Korica
Over 300 gathered on Glasgow’s George Square in dreich weather conditions to say we won’t pay for their crisis. There was visible union presence: Unite, Unison, NASUWT, the SNP trade union group and UCU. Speakers made connections between inflation, the cost of living crisis, Tory corruption, war and class struggle. It felt like a beginning of something bigger.
Eastbourne - Lucette Davies
It is heartwarming to see such passion and support for the cost of living crisis demo in Eastbourne. It is utterly horrific to realise how many people in our town are living such desperate lives of poverty. I have never felt so strongly that Tories have to go now. Lucette
Liverpool - Alan Milne
An increase in energy bills are the sharp end of a broad assault on living standards currently taking place along with rising food prices, tax increases and a fall in real wages. It is for this reason that thousands have taken to the streets this weekend in a display of solidarity in the face of an attempt to make our class pay for a neo-liberal crisis. In Liverpool, several hundred set off from the famous ‘bombed out’ church St.Lukes and made their way to Derby Square for an inspiring rally including speakers from the UCU, Liverpool BLM, North West TUC , PCS and local Councillor/author, Alan Gibbons. Speakers from local disputes gave us updates from struggles taking place now and received solidarity & support from the crowd! (The scheduled Labour MP did not attend). We need to keep the pressure on and further demonstrations and rallies against these price rises and attacks on our living standards are planned. Political strikes are now also required. The so called ‘official’ opposition parties will not ride to our rescue and in all likelihood will perpetuate similar policies to the Tories! Many unions and community groups are already organising to resist but now is the time to bring everyone together in our city, across the North West and across the UK. The Merseyside Peoples Assembly steering group meet next week to discuss the next steps. [email protected]
Birmingham - Jamal Elaheebocus (2 images)
Protestors gathered outside the Bullring in Birmingham on Saturday afternoon for a passionate rally against the cost of living crisis. Over a hundred people gathered to listen to speeches from trade unionists representing UCU, NEU and Unison, as well as activists from Stop the War, DPAC and the climate justice movement. Many spoke of the hardship that working class people have faced throughout the pandemic and the way in which working people have got poorer while big business and billionaires have seen their wealth soar. Many linked the current crisis to the decade of austerity imposed by successive Tory governments. Trade unionists encouraged the crowd to fight back against low pay and rising prices by joining a union and organising in their workplaces, as well as building the movement through the People’s Assembly.
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