Activism

Thousands take to the streets for cost of living protests

Demonstrations against the rising cost of living took place in at least 25 cities on Saturday.

Signs at the cost of living protests in London on February 12, 2022. Image: Garry Knight / Flickr

Thousands of protesters took to the streets in at least 25 cities over the weekend to vent their anger over the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Demonstrations took place across the UK sparked by the announcement that the energy price cap will increase by £693 – 54 per cent – in April.

The protest organisers, who have already announced two more days of action, said anger had been growing for years.

Paula Peters, a disability rights activist with Disabled People Against Cuts, said the crisis had been killing for over a decade.

“Austerity has been killing us for 11 years and it’s swept under the carpet – that’s why we’re supporting this demo,” she said.

The weekend’s protests, organised by The People’s Assembly along with Revolutionary Socialism, Disabled People Against Cuts, and Fuel Poverty Alliance, saw hundreds of people gather in Parliament Square.

One activist who was at the forefront of the protests told The Big Issue: “The turnout was better than we thought. There were a lot of people protesting for the first time, a lot of younger people as well, which was really positive to see”. 

She continued: “It’s important to encourage people to join the meetings, local grassroots organisations and People’s Assembly to make sure their voices are heard.

“The actions on Saturday, are only a beginning to springboard into further activity. It’s going to be a mass mobilisation to build these protests to make them even bigger and louder.”

Among the attendees in London were a host of politicians, including Jeremy Corbyn, who gave a speech, and Coventry Labour MP Zarah Sultana.

She tweeted: “The cost of living crisis is a Tory political choice: They hand bankers a £1 billion-a-year tax cut while scrapping the £20-a-week Universal Credit uplift. Proud to stand-up for working people at the People’s Assembly Against Austerity demonstration in Coventry today ✊🏽”

Protesters also took to the streets in Glasgow’s George Square, Marischal College in Aberdeen, Nottingham’s Market Square and outside the Bullring in Birmingham.

Another twitter user who attended the protest in Liverpool said the cost of living crisis was “an assault on the dignity of ordinary people”.

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