SIGNS of a looming “winter of discontent” were in evidence yesterday as thousands took to streets across the UK to demonstrate against soaring energy prices, protest the climate crisis and show support for striking workers.

The demonstrations in cities including Glasgow, Edinburgh, London and Belfast coincided with postal and rail strikes, along with a rise in ­average electricity bills of almost £600 ­coming into effect.

In Glasgow, activists from the Enough Is Enough campaign joined striking unions in the city to gather on the Buchanan Galleries steps as part of national day of action linked to the October 1 increase in the ­energy price cap.

The rally was addressed by trade unionists and politicians with chants of “Tories, Tories, Tories! Out, out, out!” and “the workers, united, will never be defeated”.

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Chris Mitchell, from the GMB union, told the protesters: “You should be proud of yourselves today. The working class are alive and kicking!”

Paisley-based charity The Star Project said one of the people they had worked with had died of starvation.

Heather Kay, a project manager at the charity, said they are helping people with gas and ­electricity costs.

She said: “People are losing control all over again, just like the pandemic,” adding: “We’ve already had a death of starvation in the community.”

In Edinburgh hundreds of ­people braved the rain to show their support for rail and postal workers taking strike action.

Both Aslef and the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) voted ­“resoundingly” to take industrial ­action against the companies that they say have failed to give ­workers a pay rise ­that matches inflation.

Postal workers from the ­Communication Workers Union (CWU) also walked out yesterday in an ongoing dispute over changes in working terms and conditions.

Kevin Lindsay, Aslef’s Scottish ­organiser, was at Edinburgh ­Waverley to show members his support.

“This is a politically-driven ­dispute,” he said. “We’ve targeted the ­Conservative Party conference: make it more ­difficult for them, make them suffer the same as commuters are having to suffer, the same as ordinary people are having to suffer.

“The solidarity and the strength of feeling is huge. Look at the numbers who have turned up here today.

“The support we’re getting from members of the public is ­unbelievable.

“What’s jumping out loud and clear is Great Britain needs a pay rise.”

Extinction Rebellion activists also staged a protest in Edinburgh as the UK’s energy price cap soared to a ­historic high.

Campaigners dressed in rags with chains around their necks walked to a slow drum beat from the city’s Princes Street to the UK ­Government office on Sibbald Walk, led by mock oil company “bosses” from Shell, BP and the Russian energy giant Gazprom.

IN London, activists supporting striking rail workers outside King’s Cross demanded that ministers cut energy prices before the temperature drops.

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At the same time, members of the Revolutionary Communist Group (RCG), Just Stop Oil and ­Extinction Rebellion (XR) were gathering ­outside Euston station to march on Westminster. Westminster Bridge was brought to a standstill for at least an hour when protesters, ­descending on it from across ­London, blocked the road to chant, sing and beat drums emblazoned with the XR logo.

Elsewhere, a rally outside City Hall in Belfast heard that children could die from hypothermia in the winter months without further intervention by the Government.

Koulla Yiasouma, Northern Ireland’s children’s commissioner, said that assurances from ministers meant nothing without a proper response to the cost of living crisis.

“Words won’t feed our children, they won’t keep our children warm, nor will they give them a safe place to live,” she said.