• Over a thousand people will take action against Npower and other Big Six energy companies on day that Winter Death statistics are released
• Anti-austerity groups including Fuel Poverty Action, UK Uncut, Disabled People Against Cuts, and the Greater London Pensioners Association reveal Npower as key target (Npower Supply and Trading Offices, 60 Threadneedle Street, EC2R 8HP)
• Further protests to take place in Oxford, Lewes, and Bristol
Acting together under the banner of ‘Bring down the Big Six – Fuel Poverty Kills!’ direct action groups will hold ‘an outrageous, creative and inclusive’ protest at the London office of the German energy giant Npower on Tuesday November 26th midday.
Meeting at 11.30am at Royal Exchange by Bank tube station, hundreds will march on Npower to protest against winter deaths, price hikes and their devastation on the planet. Simultaneously, Oxford-based protesters will target British Gas at their new Oxford HQ . (1) So far over 1000 people have pledged to take part in the protests so far. (2) At least 7,200 people died last year in the UK due to cold homes. (3)
Npower is the UK’s most complained about energy company. It received 202 complaints per 100,000 customers between April and June – double that of it’s nearest rival EDF (4) as well as increasing its’ prices higher than any of the other Big Six this year (9.3% electricity and 11.1% for Gas) The company has also defended seeking a 5% profit margin which is widely regarded as excessive (5)
Npower have also paid zero corporation tax for the past 3 years despite reporting a 34% profit rise of £413million last winter due to price hikes as an estimated 300,000 people were pushed into fuel poverty. (6)
Sarah Price of UK Uncut said: ‘The Big Six are an example of incredible corporate greed. Huge profits are extracted from the public whilst they suffer at the hands of austerity. David Cameron and his cabinet of millionaires are only too happy to stuff the pockets of big business while ordinary people are left out in the cold. The combined wealth of cabinet ministers is £70 million and they will never feel the pain of those who can’t afford their energy bills this winter. People must be put before profit, and with creative direct action, we will stand with the elderly, the poor and vulnerable to fight for OUR power. Fuel Poverty must end.’
Joseph Murphy of Disabled People Against Cuts said: ‘Another harsh winter will mean more disabled people will find themselves isolated in their homes, unable to heat them, or cook properly. Many don’t make it through. Politicians and energy firms talk about ‘measures’ and ‘support’, which are only available to a very few. The energy firms continue to sit in government departments writing energy policy, in buildings where the heating is paid for by the very people who will die of cold this winter. This is a disgrace. We ask all disabled people to take action, and to show this government, and these companies, that we wont take this and will fightback’.
Fuel Poverty Action – 07586 482 157 firstname.lastname@example.org
UK Uncut – 07415 063 231 email@example.com
Disabled People Against Cuts 07508 983 610
Greater London Pensioners Association 020 7209 3084
2 facebook.com/events/364663353679232 this number does not include those who have pledged to come but do not use social media
3 Last year there were 24,000 excess winter deaths in England and Wales. According to the World Health Organisation around 30% of excess winter deaths can be attributed to cold indoor temperatures – which based on current figures means around 7,200 people died last year due to cold housing in the winter months. Source:http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/142077/e95004.pdf
Join Fuel Poverty Action, UK Uncut, Greater London Pensioners’ Association and Disabled People Against Cuts for an audacious, creative and inclusive protest against fuel poverty deaths on November 26th at 11.30am in Central London.
Meeting point: Royal Exchange by Bank underground station.
On November 26th, the number of people who died last winter because they couldn’t afford to heat their homes will be announced. It is an outrage and a disgrace that anyone in 21st century Britain could die from fuel poverty.
We won’t stand for any more unnecessary deaths caused by price-hiking, planet-ruining, profit-munching, tax-avoiding energy companies. So join us as we take to the streets in Central London to target one of the main criminals of the energy industry.
As the Big Six energy companies hike up prices we are told the only answer is to put on a jumper. As millions will be forced to live in fuel poverty this winter, families will have to choose between heating or eating.
But we know what we want- we want warm pensioners and a publicly-owned, tax paying, renewable energy system that isn’t wrecking peoples lives or our planet.
So join the fight back and reclaim the power. Gather your kids, neighbours, grandparents your warmest jumper and your latest energy bill.
See you on the streets.
Sign up for the event here... https://www.facebook.com/events/364663353679232/
Keep up to date with the latest on the action, including the secret location by following @fuelpovaction // @ukuncut // @Dis_PPL_Protest.
And if you're a grassroots organisation and would like to add your name in support of the action please email: infofuelpovertyaction.org.uk.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 07415 063 231 | @ukuncut
Central London and 6 other town centres brought to standstill in mass civil disobedience across UK
LINK to free photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.570215963026336.1073741832.141516115896325&type=3
Roadblock protests have started in 7 towns and cities all over the UK with the protestors bringing central London's Fleet Street to a standstill in opposition to the government’s proposed changes to legal aid.
The central London action outside the Royal Courts of Justice have brought Fleet Street and the surrounding areas to a stand still. Protestors say they know the actions will be disruptive, but that they are a necessary and proportional response to the government's plans to block access to the courts for millions of ordinary people by making justice unaffordable.
The government’s reforms have come under increasing criticism, with England’s most senior family judge recently describing them as ‘disconcerting’ and suggesting that ‘something needs to be done’ . In July, the government was forced to backtrack on a key part of the reforms, that of removing the right of legal aid defendants to choose their solicitor, following protests .
Protestors will block roads in seven towns and cities across the UK: London, Manchester, Liverpool, Cambridge, Hull, Northampton and Norwich. In London, protesters will meet at the Old Bailey at 11.30am, and during the roadblock will put the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, on trial for ‘perverting the course of justice’. The protesters have organised bands, poetry and know your rights workshops to take place during the road block.
The government claims that changes will improve efficiency in the legal system and that the UK has one of the most expensive legal aid systems in the world , but this claim has been challenged by research showing that the estimated £6m savings will be dwarfed by £30m in knock-on costs .
Anna Davidson, UK Uncut spokesperson said: “The government is making a political choice to cut legal aid to stop charities and individuals challenging their austerity agenda and its impacts in the courts. The government is lying when it says the legal aid changes are about saving money because their plans will cost more than they save.
“The government is making ordinary people pay the price of the economic crisis by stopping ordinary people accessing free legal advice and representation. Legal aid helps people keep their homes when social services is trying to evict them because of the bedroom tax, or sue the government over wrongful arrest or kettling, or disabled people access the services they need.”
Jack Genel, UK Uncut supporter said: “We are all here today to show our resistance and anger at these unnecessary legal aid plans. We know that we are causing inconvenience, but we are following in the footsteps of many, including the Suffragettes and civil rights groups, in creative civil disobedience to challenge the government’s plans that will mean that only the rich can afford legal representation and advice.”
Lynn Jacobs, a UK uncut supporter said “I will be supporting this action because I have already seen the impact of legal aid changes. I fled an abusive relationship and was not sure what to do to protect myself. Because of the changes to legal aid I could not afford get a court order to protect myself from my ex-partner. I feel sad that the government does not want to help to protect me, and women like me, from violence. Why can’t the government make companies, like Google, pay their fair share instead of punishing people like me?”
The activists have enlisted the support of other direct action groups, including Disabled People Against the Cuts, Plane Stupid and Fuel Poverty Action [5, 6, 7].
Notes to editors:
1 These comments were made in a recent court case and are recorded as part of the official transcript. See http://www.marilynstowe.co.uk/2013/08/23/family-division-president-says-legal-aid-cuts-disconcerting/
-- UK Uncut www.ukuncut.org.uk Twitter @ukuncut twitter.com/ukuncut Facebook www.facebook.com/ukuncut