Billboards in Manchester were reclaimed and transformed this weekend as anger against the Big 6 energy companies rises. Upper Space was on the scene to see what was going down and why. Our heating and electric bills are going up up up, now i think about it, these energy companies…
DIY modifications were made in protest about the thousands of people who die each year due to fuel poverty, and the hikes in heating bills. Surely the days of just marching and petitioning are coming to an end? Maybe it is time to get outside, to get a bit angry and to start engaging with the things we give a shit about. Although some viewers may find the message of this culture jam crude and distasteful, think about what these companies are doing and have a read below…
The Big Six – EDF, Centrica (British Gas), Eon, RWE Npower, Scottish Power and Southern & Scottish Energy have increased energy bills by as much as 22% this January 2012, while profits have soared to a record five-year high. Government statistics show that every year, around 2,700 people, mostly pensioners, die from coldness-related diseases like pneumonia.
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Jane Simpson, 34, from Manchester Climate Action group, who participated in the DIY modifications said “I just wanted to come out and say it. The energy companies are ripping us off big time and making a fat buck off it. But it’s about much more than prices. It’s about big corporations dominating our energy supply.”
James Terry, 26, also linked the issue to climate change. He said: “It’s not just people in the UK who are dying because of the energy companies selfish obsession with profits – people around the world are dying from climate change resulting from the government and energy companies refusing to make the change to renewable energy.”
“We need a chance to discuss where we get our energy from and how much it costs, not just have it dictated to us by big energy companies”
Those least able to pay for energy are forced into installing meters and paying more, and when the money runs out, so does the light, heat and hot water.
While the Big Six energy companies are making a five-year record profit of over 700% per customer, the government is cutting its Winter Fuel Allowance. The group accused the government and energy companies of a “deadly obsession with making money”.
This action has been inspired by the ‘Winter Warm Up’ weekend of action called by Fuel Poverty Action. Hundreds of protesters are expected to participate in actions in Leeds, London, Cambridge and other parts of the country.
Brighten up your bus journies on the way into the machine…Grab a can of paint, select a brush and get busy on these nasty m*th*r f*ck*ers.
More info here