Ramona McCartney, a national organiser with the People’s Assembly, told The Big Issue: “I think this is going to be something we haven’t seen in a very long time.
“It’s got a feeling like the poll tax protests, that feeling where people have had enough.”
Organised by groups including the People’s Assembly, Revolutionary Socialism, Disabled People Against Cuts, and Fuel Poverty Alliance, the protests plan to draw attention to not just the rise in energy prices, but the cost of living crisis in general.
Sunak’s £9billion package, which included a £200 loan to households which would be paid off through higher future energy bills, led him to be dubbed the “Klarna chancellor”.
Around 22 million households will be hit by the increase in bills, as the cap rises to £1,971 for those on direct debits and £2,017 for those on pre-payment meters.
Paula Peters, a disability rights activist with Disabled People Against Cuts, told The Big Issue that disabled people had been starving, freezing, and dying even before this new increase in energy costs.
“The cost of living crisis is killing us. Austerity has been killing us for 11 years and it’s swept under the carpet – that’s why we’re supporting this demo,” Peters said.
The widely-publicised choice between heating and eating has, for many years not been a choice, Peters added – with many disabled people not being able to afford either.
“It’s an absolute nightmare that we’ve been living in for 11 years. The cost of living crisis means we cannot afford to eat or heat. We’re just barely surviving and there are a great many who are no longer with us. It’s killing on a double front,” Peters said.
Charlotte, an organiser with Revolutionary Socialism in the 21st Century, told The Big Issue: “This is something that affects so many people, and not just the people who might make a habit of turning out to protests.
“It could be a really unifying thing – we wanted to show that the issues of rent prices, low pay, workplace struggles, and gas prices are basically affecting all regular people. We want to give people an opportunity to come together and see that.”
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