The People's Assembly co-ordinated the demonstrations on Saturday, supported by trade unions, in towns and cities around the UK.
In Glasgow’s George Square, one placard called on others to “defy Tory rule”, while another read: “Freeze the prices, not the poor.”
Laura Pidcock, national secretary of the People's Assembly, said there was "real anger" at what she described as a "growing crisis".
The former Labour MP said: "Working people could not be working harder and yet life is getting so much more difficult.
"People can see clearer than ever the inequality in our society, that while there are companies making massive profits and the richest individuals are getting so much richer, everybody else is having to suffer, making very difficult decisions to try and get by.
"Older people will be cold in their homes, people will be struggling to feed their children, when none of this is a crisis of their making.
"Meanwhile, the Government sits by and does nothing to help the people. So we will be out on the streets saying enough is enough."
Sharon Graham, general secretary of Unite, said protests were taking place because "people are fed up of rich men telling them that they have to pay for boardroom greed and colossal market failure".
She said: "This crisis was not caused by working people and we are not going to take wage cuts to pay for it.
"Why should the public always bail out the markets and policy makers? Where firms can pay, they should pay and under my watch Unite will unashamedly continue to protect the living standards of its members."
Fran Heathcote, president of the Public and Commercial Services union, said: "Low-paid workers cannot and will not pay for the Government's problems.
"The hike in heating bills, fuel, transport costs and national insurance contributions, at the same time as pay is held down and pensions are being attacked, leaves most workers with a real cost-of-living crisis."