It is believed to be one of the biggest series of demonstrations the UK has seen for years
Two thousand people reportedly gathered in Temple Meads in Bristol on Saturday (October 1) united in anger over soaring energy bills. It was part of the national protests led by the Enough Is Enough campaign which organisers have described as one of the largest series of demonstrations the country has seen for years.
There have been rallies of people demonstrating up and down the country from around 50 different locations including Edinburgh, Lancaster, Hull, Newcastle and Eastbourne – with 10,000 people reported to attend the march in King’s Cross, London. The protests were coordinated with the national rail strike which brought travel by train to a near standstill on Saturday.
Bristol protesters – including young families – gathered around the square in front of the Knight’s Templar Wetherspoons, near Bristol Temple Meads station, at around midday to listen to speeches. ACORN Bristol predicted around 2,000 people attended, joining the RMT picket outside the railway station.
“This Saturday 1st October we’re taking action against the energy companies ripping us off, and the politicians who cheer them on. We’ll be backing our brothers and sisters in the trade unions who are on strike,” the Facebook event description read.
The rally later marched around the Bath Bridge Roundabout and looped back down the road to gather with banners outside OVO Energy’s Bristol headquarters on Temple Quay. The company came under fire earlier in the year over reports its boss Stephen Fitzpatrick had allegedly told customers to keep warm in the winter by “doing star jumps”.
It then returned back to Temple Meads to re-join the rail workers striking over pay and working conditions. On Twitter, @lucinda_edits said that “the Bristol protest was an amazing experience. Something has to be done about this government”.
@GreenBrizzle wrote: “People at Bristol’s #EnoughIsEnough rally gather outside the @OVOEnergy offices – somewhat miffed at its CEO’s suggestion that doing star jumps & cuddling pets will help with the energy price crisis.”
@pijayess added: “Huge turnout in Bristol this afternoon. People have had it up to here with the status quo. Time to change the record.”
This was the second event in Bristol associated with the Enough Is Enough campaign. A launch rally was previously held on September 20 at St George’s with speeches from ACORN Head Organiser Nick Ballard, and writer and poet Vanessa Kissule.
The grassroots campaign, led by anonymous organisers, has seen big public meetings in many of the major cities in the UK, with people coming together to call for a five-point plan to end the prospect of an energy bills crisis and spiralling inflation this winter. It has initially pledged to not pay from Saturday, the date when regulator Ofgem’s price cap was due to rise, if a million people had signed up.
The Energy Price Guarantee, which comes into place on October 1, will see the average household pay £2,500 per year on energy bills. However, the exact bill prices will vary depending on property type and energy usage, as that figure is the expected annual energy bill for a three-bedroom house, as explained by The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.