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Activism

All the protests and strikes taking place this weekend as anger grows over the economic crisis

Energy prices are set to soar on Saturday – and thousands are taking to the street to protest

This weekend is set to see thousands take to the streets as anger over energy prices and economic conditions materialises into action with a series of cost of living protests across the UK.

The energy price cap will shoot up to £2,500 – for the average household – on Saturday. Despite government action, it will still be more than double what it was a year ago. This, coupled with inflation not seen for decades, is threatening millions.

On top of that, it’s the Conservative Party conference, with the party due to be basking in its handling of the economy. Last week’s “mini-budget” saw the government remove the cap on bankers’ bonuses and cut tax for the wealthiest in a bid to boost the economy – but has instead seen the pound plummet and mortgage providers withdraw offers.

Police watchdog NetPol is calling the weekend the biggest test of the police’s new powers to crackdown on protest. From unions going out on strike to environmental occupations, here’s what’s happening on Saturday and how you can get involved.

Enough is Enough rally

Springing up in response to the cost of living crisis, Enough is Enough is made up of unions and campaign groups including housing union Acorn and the left-wing magazine Tribune.

Along with a demand to gradually increase the minimum wage to £15 an hour, the group also wants to slash energy bills and end food poverty.

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After a series of rallies across the country, October 1 is their big day of action.

Rallies are taking place in a huge range of locations across the country – wherever you are, you’re probably close to one. There’s not just London, Glasgow, and Birmingham, but Gillingham, Preston, and Colchester. A full list of protests can be found here.

Don’t Pay UK day of action

Don’t Pay UK captured headlines with a plan for a mass non-payment of bills on October 1, forcing energy companies into compromise.

This won’t be happening, however, after the Big Issue reported this week that the group has fallen short of its one million sign-up target. Instead, there will be a national day of action, marking the first Don’t Pay UK protests.

Events include “burn your bills” rallies in Bradford and Brighton, as well as a community reggae performance in Lancaster. Details of all protests can be found here.

Train strikes

As part of the continuing dispute between rail operating companies and the RMT union, Saturday will see a further day of train strikes.

The strikes had previously been called off after the Queen’s death but will resume on Saturday, with workers from the Transport Salarieds Staffs’ Association and Aslef also striking.

Expect widespread disruption, as negotiations between the union and rail bosses between pay and reforms drag on. The RMT will be picketing outside Euston from 7am until 10am.

There will also be a trade union rally outside King’s Cross station at midday.

Royal Mail strike

In another ongoing industrial dispute, Royal Mail staff represented by the CWU will walk out for 48 hours on Friday and Saturday. There will be disruption to postal services, with another 19 days of action planned across October and November.

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Just Stop Oil occupying Westminster

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has warned Just Stop Oil not to disrupt the London Marathon when the group takes to the streets in Westminster this weekend.

Just Stop Oil’s campaign of civil resistance has seen dozens of its activists jailed. Protesters will meet at Euston, Paddington, and Waterloo stations at 11am on Saturday and Sunday. The group wants an end to all new oil and gas projects in the UK.

Lewisham right to food rally

On a more local level than the wide-scale UK protests, a rally is planned in Lewisham to raise awareness of food poverty.

Lewisham is where We Care food bank, the UK’s largest, is located. Facing closure by Christmas due to soaring electricity prices, it has just won the support of Gordon Brown, who has launched a campaign to help save it.

The protest will highlight the number of food banks in Lewisham, and point out the need for change. It will start in the car park of the Downham Way Co-op at midday, and finish at Lewisham Clock Tower between 2.30 and 3pm.

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Conservative Party conference protests

The Conservative Party’s annual conference will kick off in Birmingham this weekend, with the government on the back foot after its “mini budget” forced a pointed intervention from the Bank of England.

Anti-austerity group the People’s Assembly will be protesting outside the conference, with speakers on Sunday including RMT general secretary Mick Lynch and former Labour MP Laura Pidcock, now the national secretary of the People’s Assembly.

The group is also organising transport to the protest, which will take place at 1pm in Victoria Square.

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