Just Stop Oil activists have been hiding in a £28,000 Harrods display bed amid protests against fuel poverty in the UK.
Footage from so-called “warm-up” demonstrations today also showed security forces confronting protesters lying on sofas inside the store in Knightsbridge, London.
The eco-activists are taking action against skyrocketing energy bills and have been supported by other grassroots movements including Don’t Pay UK and Fuel Poverty Action.
They said they were “quickly” escorted out of the department store by about 20 security guards.
Protests took place across the country, including at the British Museum and at Scottish Power’s headquarters as part of a national day of action against fuel poverty, organizers said.
According to Don’t Pay, the activists lay down in the foyer of Scottish Power in Glasgow around 9am with blankets, sleeping bags and hot water bottles.
In another “warm-up,” activists entered the Great Hall of the British Museum – the largest covered public space in Europe – where they also protested the venue’s Bloomsbury sponsorship links with oil giant BP, Don’t Pay said.
Footage showed visitors in the background while activists sat in a circle on the floor.
A third group entered the Westfield shopping center in Stratford, east London.
The protesters waved signs that read “Heat or Eat Rishi” and “End Fuel Poverty Now”.
“Warm-up protests” include “squatting a site to operate an unauthorized heat bank and draw attention to skyrocketing rates of fuel poverty,” Don’t Pay said.
In Hastings, campaigners were set to enter a Barclays branch due to the bank’s fossil fuel investments, which activists say are exacerbating energy prices and the climate crisis.
Further warm-up protests were scheduled for a shopping center in Manchester, Liverpool, Brighton and Bristol.
A spokesman for Just Stop Oil said: “This administration is allowing ordinary people to starve and freeze this winter while greedy energy companies squeeze every last penny out of us. Health care is in crisis, workers’ wages are being squeezed and nurses are using food banks.
“Austerity is a political decision and the cost of living crisis is an unprovoked attack on ordinary people.
“Worse, skyrocketing energy prices fund the companies that are setting the climate on fire. Rishi Sunak’s government plans to approve over 100 new fossil fuel projects in the UK.
“They sign our death warrants. New oil and gas is criminal, a genocide of billions of people in the poorest countries on earth and an act of war against youth.’
Don’t Pay’s Neil Smith added: “No one should be freezing in the winter but what we are seeing is a mass outage on these extortionate energy bills and thousands will be freezing in their homes.”
Together, the groups want the government to address the energy and cost of living crises immediately by launching Energy For All, defined as “a universal, free band of energy to meet people’s needs.”
The movement would be paid for by “ending all public money subsidizing fossil fuels, a more effective windfall tax on energy companies, and higher tariffs on energy use by luxury homes.”
Stuart Bretherton, coordinator of Fuel Poverty Action, said: “Energy For All would achieve what our energy system and economy should ultimately be designed to do – ensure that everyone’s basic needs are met.
“Ordinary people cannot keep footing the bill for crises caused by the rich; It’s time for the big polluters and profiteers to pay their share.
“By doing so, we could also incentivize much-needed climate action around home insulation and a transition to renewable energy.”
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/12/03/harrods-just-stop-oil-protesters-go-to-bed-17873721/ Harrods: Just Stop Oil protesters go to bed