The mass non-payment of energy bills is happening now. At least 3 million people are already in debt to their energy supplier and 7 million of us can’t keep up. We must now turn this mass default into mass resistance – and strike together for a different future.
The government is committed only to defending the obscene profits of the energy companies. We can’t stand by while millions are forced into unmanageable debt or are left to freeze, just so these companies can continue to rake in billions. We demand a reversal of the price hikes, an end to all enforcement of prepayment meters and for the introduction of a social tariff for energy.
We’re calling on everyone to defend and extend the strike. This means withholding payment, if you can and for as long as you can, resisting the energy companies and joining your local Don’t Pay group to protect each other and those who can’t pay or can’t not pay.
No individual, no organisation and no political party is coming to save us – it's up to us to defend our communities and take back power from the profiteers fuelling this crisis.
Much like the Poll Tax, this fight won’t be won overnight. This is only the beginning. The power we need comes from truly grassroots, community-based resistance which is able to take on these companies and the government to end the profiteering, and make sure everyone has access to the energy they need.
How do you join the strike?
The strategy behind mass non-payment is to cause disruption for the energy companies and force them, and the government, back round the table in a collective negotiation. Withholding payment hits their bottom lines, cashflow, and operations all at once – especially with millions of us doing it together.
The question to consider is how to withhold payment for as long as possible, and support each other in your local community. It’ll be different for everyone and depend on whether you ‘won’t pay’, ‘can’t pay’ or ‘can’t not pay’:
If you ‘won’t pay’, this may mean cancelling your direct debit and stopping payments – then using whatever means you can to slow down and avoid your energy supplier’s debt recovery process. Remember – there’s no risk-free way to strike, it’s up to all of us in our communities to act together to resist these processes and defend the strike.
If you ‘can’t pay’ and you’re already not paying your bills, you can still align with the strike and join Don’t Pay to be linked up with your local group. The more of us resisting together, the greater the pressure on the Government to step in and meet our demands.
Local Don’t Pay groups are already active and are prepared to provide mutual aid to those who are worried about non-payment – we’re in this together.
Everyone will be in a different situation and you’ll be the best judge of how you can join and support the strike. For example, you may currently be able to pay part of your bill, and then choose to withhold the rest and join the strike that way. If you are already being pursued for your debt, you should do whatever you can to avoid being forced onto prepayment. Link up with your local group for support and to support others.
If you ‘can’t not pay’ because you already have a prepayment meter, you can resist your energy supplier in other ways, such as requesting for your prepayment meter to be removed. You may also have your energy bills included in your rent or need to pay because of your particular situation regarding credit. Even if you can’t avoid paying, there are still many ways you can support the campaign.
Many people on prepayment can’t afford their bills – this is why we need to support each other and demand an end to all enforcement of prepayment and for a fair price for power for everyone.
Remember: it’s about resisting the energy profiteers together. Don’t Pay is a grassroots campaign, run entirely by people volunteering their time to organise local groups in their neighbourhoods. Whether you can’t pay, won’t pay or can’t not pay – you strike with everyone in your local community.
We know the strike won’t be won overnight – just like the Poll Tax wasn’t defeated overnight. 1 December is the start, not the end, and we have to keep building the strike until we win. Whether you can or can’t pay, we have to resist these profiteering companies and an uncaring, corrupt government together.
Ultimately, it’s not about Don’t Pay – it’s about the people in your community. No one, no organisation or political party is coming to save us, we have to fight for ourselves and each other.