Cost of living: Campaign group promises ‘autumn offensive’ of protest against the crisis

The People's Assembly has called two national demonstrations

A protest organised by The People's Assembly anti-austerity

Public anger against the cost of living crisis is rising as bills are currently set to rocket to over £4,000 in January. News that real terms wages fell by 3 per cent from January-June prompted trade unions to say they will do “whatever is necessary” to protect workers.

There are now also set to be mass mobilisations against the crisis from outside the trade unions. Anti-austerity campaign group The People’s Assembly has promised an ‘autumn offensive’ against the crisis.

The group is asking its supporters to help it “mobilise the biggest, most united voice of workers and communities from every corner of Britain in the coming weeks” in advance of two demonstrations it is organising for the Autumn.

The first – at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham – will take place on October 2, with people assembling in Victoria Square. The second will be in London on November 5, starting from Embankment.

In an email to its supporters, The People’s Assembly said, “Millions of households are already struggling to pay for basics such as food, housing and energy. Average household energy bills are predicted rise to £4200 a year this winter. The Bank of England now officially forecasts economic recession and higher inflation for most of 2023.

“At the same time, we are seeing our incomes fall in real terms and we are living in a time of societal collapse.

“But not everyone is struggling. Energy companies report record profits. Others, including supermarkets, transport firms and landlords are enjoying an absolute bonanza. Their profits and rents come from the pockets of ordinary people who are already struggling – even before winter comes.”

The People’s Assembly is organising the demonstrations under the banner of ‘We won’t pay for their crisis’. The group is demanding a series of measures to tackle the cost of living crisis, including taking energy, water and the railways into public ownership, and taxing company profits to fund fuel poverty alleviation.

The People’s Assembly has historically shown an ability to mobilise significant numbers of people behind its campaigns. In 2021, its first major national demonstration since the Covid-19 pandemic attracted tens of thousands of people. At the height of the anti-austerity movement, The People’s Assembly brought 250,000 people to the streets of London in the aftermath of the 2015 general election.

Founded in 2013, The People’s Assembly was launched by key figures in the trade union movement alongside left wing MPs including Caroline Lucas, Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonell. Its current national secretary is the former Labour MP Laura Pidcock.

Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward

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