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Stop the Great Fuel Robbery week of action – what went on….

Image Copyright 2013 Martin LeSanto-Smith

Image Copyright 2013 Martin LeSanto-Smith

Selection of press coverage: 

The Independent | Huffington Post | ITV News | Daily Star | Express | London Evening Standard |  Scotsman

Today, Fuel Poverty Action’s week of action called ‘Stop the Great Fuel Robbery’ comes to an end. The weekend saw hundreds of people in towns and cities across the UK taking to the streets in protest against fuel poverty.

In London on Saturday, 100 people, many of whom were elderly and disabled, blockaded the Whitehall main road opposite the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Traffic was brought to a standstill for one hour, as protesters held giant mock fuel bills addressed to Energy Secretary Ed Davey, bearing the slogan: ‘Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay.’

Image Copyright 2013 Martin LeSanto-Smith

Image Copyright 2013 Martin LeSanto-Smith

Protesters accused DECC of being ‘in bed with the Big Six energy companies’ in pushing ahead the ‘dash for gas’, which will push up fuel bills and worsen climate change. [1] Before the road-block, protesters held a ‘fuel bill assembly’ where people shared stories and experiences of surviving rocketing bills, rip-off energy companies and cuts.

Image Copyright 2013 Martin LeSanto-Smith

Image Copyright 2013 Martin LeSanto-Smith

Image Copyright 2013 Martin LeSanto-Smith

Image Copyright 2013 Martin LeSanto-Smith

Big Six energy company offices were also targeted, with demonstrations at E.ON’s Nottingham offices on Thursday and, on Friday, the Edinburgh HQ of Scottish Gas, the Scottish arm of Centrica. [2]

Protest outside Scottish Gas Edinburgh HQ

Protest outside Scottish Gas Edinburgh HQ

On London’s Southbank, pensioners from Southwark Pensioners’ Action Group were evicted from the Royal Festival Hall after going inside to get warm and give out leaflets. The group of ten pensioners, sat round a table drinking tea and discussing the impact of high fuel bills, were threatened with arrest by police, who were called by Royal Festival Hall security. [3]

Local media coverage of Southwark pensioners' protest

Local media coverage of Southwark pensioners’ protest

Fuel bill assemblies, used by those affected by fuel poverty as a chance to speak out on their situation and express their anger, were held in Manchester and several London boroughs including Haringey, Lewisham and Hackney. [4]

People of all ages got creative at the Haringey fuel bill assembly

People of all ages got creative at the Haringey fuel bill assembly

Ellen Clifford of Disabled People Against Cuts, who joined the Whitehall road-block, said:

‘I can’t afford to heat where I live anymore. Last year I couldn’t afford my rocketing fuel bills and I got put on a payment meter which is more expensive. Now I live with my partner who is also disabled and we have to choose eating over heating.’

Image Copyright 2013 Martin LeSanto-Smith

Image Copyright 2013 Martin LeSanto-Smith

Elizabeth Ziga of Fuel Poverty Action said:

‘With yearly price hikes, soaring Big Six profits and unnecessary and unjust government cuts, the Great Fuel Robbery has gone on too long: the time has come for protest, civil disobedience and direct action. The Big Six and the government’s plot to increase our dependence on dirty and expensive gas power will be the final nail in the coffin, meaning even higher fuel bills and rising food prices due to climate change. People are furious and are taking to the streets to speak out for the alternative of cheap, clean renewable energy, produced for our benefit, not to line the pockets of energy tycoons.’

Image copyright 2013 Martin LeSanto-Smith.

Image copyright 2013 Martin LeSanto-Smith.

[1] Media coverage of the DECC fuel bill assembly and road-block:

The Independent | Huffington Post | ITV News | Daily Star | Express | London Evening Standard

For more on the collusion of DECC and the Big Six, see: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/30/energy-companies-climate-ministry-decc.

[2] http://www.scotsman.com/news/scottish-news/top-stories/scottish-gas-profits-slammed-by-protesters-1-2795581

[3] http://www.london-se1.co.uk/news/view/6627

[4] For a full list of actions taking place across the UK, see: http://fuelpovertyaction.org.uk/2013/02/11/where-are-assemblies-and-action-happening/.

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Discussion

5 thoughts on “Stop the Great Fuel Robbery week of action – what went on….

  1. Someone somewhere said We, as a nation, need to all stick together and protest…perhaps if everyone didn’t use electricity & gas for just one day and all stood together on this then someone with some power may take notice. That I don’t think will work. if the nation sticks together and protest by stop paying the bills for a few months they will soon get a message that we are not going to be bullied by the greedy shareholders and the Directors of the utility companies. It is unbelievable the chief Executive was awarded shares worth an additional £5.05million after he received pay and perks of £4.1million and if that is not enough wait he also gets perks which include a £684 discount on his annual energy bill. This is sick when people like us single parents only have household income of £ 12600 bringing up a child and the courts awarding warrants to these robbing companies to enter our properties to put in pay meters. With meagre amount of income we are still expected to pay between £ 77 and £120 a month to these companies. Please help! We cannot stand up to these bullies individually so please British people wake up and help us by standing up against these bullies and stop paying your bills unless you have a better idea how to stop them. Can we protest outside Magistrate/law courts to ask them to stop giving these companies warrants to enter our properties until they bring the prices down substantially (fair pricing).

    Posted by Anonymous | February 28, 2013, 11:06 am
  2. You think fuel bills are too high, so you want us to switch to even more expensive renewables? Are you for real?

    Posted by Sean | February 22, 2013, 4:15 pm
  3. Reblogged this on HUMAN RIGHTS & POLITICAL JOURNAL and commented:
    Awesome. In Solidarity & Support!! 🙂

    Posted by rainbowwarriorlizzie | February 21, 2013, 8:41 am

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