SixÂ activists have barricaded themselves into meeting rooms on two floors of British Gas offices in Staines,
Middlesex, as part of the âWinter Warm-Upâ weekend called by the campaign group Fuel Poverty Action. British Gas is being targeted as one of the Big Six energy companies making profits out of rising energy bills. It is planned to stream the occupation live on the internet, with a âHeat or Eatâ comedy quiz played by the occupiers, and audience participation over Twitter.
Hannah Edler, 27, a Heat or Eat contestant, said
âHeat or Eat is a choice no-one should have to face. The Big Six energy companies are raking in record profits while our bills rise, and thousands die unable to heat their homes. Weâre here to put ourselves in the way of this shameless profiteering.â
Edler added: âInstead of paying billions to Big Six bosses every year, we could have a fairer system where our energy is owned by communities who decide how it is priced and produced. Money could be better spent on giving homes proper insulation, and investing in moving away from the dangerous fossil fuel system which the Big Six have trapped us in. To provide for everyoneâs needs and stop wrecking the planetâs climate, we need democratic control of our energy system!â
This action is part of a national weekend of protests called by campaign group Fuel Poverty Action targeting energy companies, local government and housing providers over fuel poverty and corporate greed. The protests, dubbed âWinter Warm Upsâ and organised by community, environmental and Occupy groups, also took place in Lewisham, Haringey, Hackney, Swindon (outside RWE Npower office), Leeds, Manchester, Cambridge, and the City of London. They demand a fair democratic energy system which provides warm housing for all and a safe climate for our future .
Live footage and photographs available
Livestream of the occupation will appear at http://livestre.am/1gaxQ
Twitter feed: @heatoreat
For direct contact details for occupation participants please contact Fuel Poverty Action:
Faced with a threatening police presence, theÂ occupiers of the British Gas offices have nowÂ decided to leave on their own terms. But while they were inside,Â British Gas MD PhilÂ Bentley decided to come out and talk to the protestors outside. The writeup below is from the #heatoreat blog.Â