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Fuel protests reveal ‘growing anger and despair’ over cost-of-living-crisis, campaigners say

DRIVERS protesting against high fuel prices, including those forced to quit their jobs due to the cost-of-living crisis, targeted major roads in England, Wales and Scotland today. 

Convoys of vehicles drove slowly to obstruct traffic in parts of Britain including south Wales, the west of England, Essex, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and the A92 in Scotland.

Police officers arrested at least 12 people on the M4 in south Wales for breaching a legal notice issued by the police prior to the protest by driving at under 30 mph for “a prolonged amount of time.”

The actions were organised under the social media banner Fuel Price Stand Against Tax, with protesters calling on the government to slash fuel duty. One sign read: “The government is trying to tax us into poverty.”

Among those protesting was Vicky Stamper, 41, a former HGV driver from Cwmbran who said that she and her partner had been forced to quit their jobs in Bristol because they could no longer afford fuel. 

Ms Stamper said: “I then lost a job two weeks ago because the company couldn’t afford to put fuel in that many lorries, so last in, first out.”

Asked what she would ask Prime Minister Boris Johnson to do, she said: “Resign.”

Fellow protester Richard Dite, 44, a mobile welder from Maesteg, south Wales, said it was costing him over £300 to get to work every week. 

“My only option soon will be to put the welding gear in the shed and call it a day, maybe go on the dole. Face it, at this rate I’ll be on more that way.”

Don’t Pay, a new campaign group urging the public not to pay energy bills this winter, said that the protests showed the “anger and despair growing in the country as ordinary workers are struggling to make ends meet.”

“The question that must be asked is why are fuel companies making billions in profit during a crisis whilst millions of us are facing financial ruin?” Jay Daniels of the group told the Morning Star. 

“We are receiving messages every day of people absolutely terrified of how they are going to pay for energy bills, fuel, food, mortgages and rent.

“The level of government support hardly begins to make a difference until they tackle the extreme profiteering that is happening on a mass scale.”

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