4 Important Protests You May Have Missed Amid The Tory Chaos

Liz Truss' U-turn isn't the only story we should be talking about this week.
All the protests you might have missed due to the Tory chaos
All the protests you might have missed due to the Tory chaos

The UK government’s flip-flopping around tax might be dominating the front pages again, but there are many other stories which are going under the radar – including collection action, which is becoming more popular all over the world.

There were four particularly significant protests that happened over the weekend, from the UK-based Enough is Enough campaign to the pushback for women’s rights in the Middle East.

All of them have galvanised a huge body of support, both in the countries where they began and beyond.

Here’s what you need to know about each of these demonstrations.

1. Enough is Enough

A campaign born out of the cost of living crisis, Enough is Enough is pushing for a real pay rise for workers, decreased energy bills, a tax for the rich, decent homes and an end to food poverty as the UK faces its hardest winter for decades.

Founded by trade unions and community organisations, the movement organised 50 protests on Saturday which saw famous faces, including the former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and actor Rob Delaney, take part. It was the campaign’s first official “day of action”.

Co-founder of the movement, Labour MP Ian Byrne, told The Guardian: “We are faced with a winter in which millions of people, many of them in full-time work, will be unable to pay for their food or heating or housing. It’s an event, socially and politically, that none of us have seen in our lifetimes. And, as we are also seeing, people won’t accept it.”

The movement has also backed the rail strikes which are set to bring the country to a halt again on Wednesday and Saturday this week. The industrial walkouts have been described as the largest seen in the UK for 33 years.

Following Truss’ U-turn over abolishing the tax cuts for the highest earners on Monday, the campaign is also calling for the government to completely rejig its current economic approach, especially as a particularly hard winter looms.

Similar protests are sweeping across other parts of Europe right now, such as Germany and France, as citizens push back against the soaring energy bills triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Over the weekend, thousands in various cities marched with signs reading: “Enough !!!”

The protesters were calling for caps to be introduced on rent, hikes in gas prices to be withdrawn and an increase in welfare benefits.

picture alliance via Getty Images

2. Just Stop Oil

This campaign blockaded four London bridges at the weekend, with thousands of protesters sitting down to obstruct traffic.

The movement is a call for the government to stop using fossil fuels, even though it’s just lifted the ban on fracking, and aims to end all new licenses and consents for the exploration, development and production of fossil fuels in the UK.

The group held rallies in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and Norwich.

A whole range of climate change activists joined, including Insulate Britain, Animal Rebellion and Jeremy Corbyn’s Peace and Justice project.

It is also calling for action on the cost of living crisis, as the rising wholesale prices of fossil fuels is triggering soaring energy bills.

The campaign also briefly joined with the Enough is Enough movement on Saturday, but The Guardian reported that there was no coordination between the two groups beforehand.

Just Stop Oil is hoping to organise protesters outside Downing Street every day from October 3 onwards to push for further government action.

3. Women’s rights in Afghanistan

Women in Afghanistan are calling for action across the country after dozens were killed in an attack on a Kabul school at the end of September – although no group has yet taken responsibility.

The violence has been seen as both an attack on the minority ethnic group the Hazaras, who have faced often persecution, and the country’s general restrictions on women and other minorities.

Protests have subsequently broken out, led mainly by women within the country’s academic community.

The demonstrations were then suppressed by the Taliban, who alleged fired warning shots and tried to violently break up the groups. According to Al Jazeera, some were locked up inside their own campus, while others were beaten as demonstrators tried to film the protests.

“We have to raise our voices and organise ourselves. This genocide against Hazara has to end,” university professor Zahra Mosawi told the news agency.

But, Heather Barr, associate director of the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, said it was “incredibly dangerous” to protest in the country now.

She said: “The Taliban’s response has, predictably, been brutal, including new abusive strategies such as locking students in their hostels.

“The Taliban seem to have no tolerance at all for protests by women and girls, even when the protest is not specifically about their abuses.”

The Taliban government replied by alleging protesters should have told them in advance about their plans.

The protesters want girls’ high schools in the country to reopen, having been closed since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last year.

4. Ongoing backlash in Iran

Protests in Iran have been hitting the news for the last two weeks, following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini who was arrested for breaking hijab laws. She died only three days after being detained by the country’s morality police.

While it was mainly Iranian students who led the demonstrations initially – with the chant, “Woman, Life, Freedom’ – it’s now extended to school children. The government has imposed an “internet shutdown” too, to stop Iranians communicating through social media.

Europeans are now starting to campaign in solidarity with the women in that country.

Governments in Germany, France, Denmark, Spain, Italy and Czech Republic have all called for the EU to sanction Iran for its violent crackdown on the demonstrations, too.


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