Lancaster protestors vow to keep up their fight as energy bills rise

Lancaster residents joined thousands of other protestors for a third nationwide day of local protests around the country.

By Michelle Blade
Monday, 11th April 2022, 3:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th April 2022, 11:05 am

Holding placards and banners calling on the government to 'freeze prices not the poor', local people gathered around the plinth in Market Square to listen to speakers and make their protest.

Speakers from local community groups, trades unions, renters unions and political parties all condemned the energy price rise and the consequent increase in hardship experienced by people in the district.

"The Big Six suppliers and other energy companies have made billions in profits from us all. Shell Energy just declared an annual profit of over £14 billion for last year alone" said Mary, one of the local protest organisers, “it seems to us that the profits of the rich are being prioritised over the interests of the majority us, who can't afford these rising costs. Many local households are already at breaking point".

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Lancaster residents protested against energy bills price rises in Market Square in Lancaster.

Other speakers in Market square included a representative of the Rail, Maritime and Transport trades union who spoke about the need for all workers to join and strengthen their trades unions to defend themselves against the rising cost of living. The RMT representative told the crowd about the fate of the P&O seafarers.

He said: "If P&O can get away with sacking 800 workers to cut pay to as little as £1.80 an hour, then no workforce is safe. All workers must make a stand, support the RMT union and the P&O workers. In times like these, every worker should join a union to fight for their rights".

Another speaker was Lisa Corkerry from the local Labour party.

To applause and cheers from the protestors, she said: "One of my greatest fears about the crisis is that soon people who currently contribute to food banks will not be able to carry on doing so, and the situation will become even more desperate for those who are already having to choose between heating their homes and feeding their children.

Lancaster residents protested against energy bills price rises in Market Square in Lancaster.

"Lancaster is clear – the government must take action. Nationalise the energy companies and support people through this crisis".

David, a speaker from the Lancaster & Morecambe Tenants Union told the crowd about how rising rents and fuel bills were hurting local people, and how TACU was organising to fight for renters rights.

Another speaker from Lancaster and Morecambe Trades Union Council spoke of the need to "unite community struggles with building stronger unions at work, to combat low pay and rising poverty".

The protest rally also listened to a protest song by well know local busker, and chanted slogans including "They Say Price Rise? We Say Nationalise!".

Lancaster residents protested against energy bills price rises in Market Square in Lancaster.

The next protest will be with Lancaster and Morecambe TUC's annual May Day march for International Workers Day, on Saturday April 30.

The Lancaster and Morecambe TUC's annual May Day Parade and Rally assembles at 11.30am at Dalton Square with the parade beginning at 12pm and the rally with speakers and music beginning at 1pm.

Speakers announced so far include: Darren Ireland RMT and P&O Ferries campaign. Oliver Robinson, President Lancaster University Students Union and Tina Rothery, Lancashire Climate activist.

Lancaster residents protested against energy bills price rises in Market Square in Lancaster.
A speaker at the protest against energy bills price rises in Market Square in Lancaster.
Lancaster residents protest against energy bills price rises in Market Square in Lancaster.
Lancaster residents protest against energy bills price rises in Market Square in Lancaster.
Lancaster residents protest against energy bills price rises in Market Square in Lancaster.
Lancaster residents protest against energy bills price rises in Market Square in Lancaster.