An estimated 100,000 people from every corner of the UK and all shades of political opinion today joined protests in defence of democracy against Boris Johnson’s Brexit “coup”.
With more protests to come tomorrow and across the week that number will only grow.
This week’s decision by the Government’s decision to suspend Parliament in an effort to force an undemocratic No Deal on the people has strengthened alliances both in Parliament and in the country.
Jess Phillips MP, a leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign said:
“It is vital that in this political emergency, we do not let anyone separate Parliament from the people. In the House of Commons next week, I will proudly be voting with MPs of all parties to stop No Deal from being forced on the people. And on the streets outside, in towns and cities across Britain, people will be protesting to defend our Parliament and our most cherished democratic rights against an executive which is now out of control.”
For the first time, protests are being organised and backed by Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters on the left of the Labour Party. The Leader of the Opposition is also working closely with a group of cross-party group of MPs, including Conservative ex-ministers, Liberal Democrats and Scottish Nationalists in Parliament to stop a scorched earth Brexit being imposed on Britain.
The left-wing Another Europe is Possible has published a list of protests at https://www.anothereurope.org/stopthecoup-join-the-nationwide-wave-of-protests/ and on Friday the People’s Vote campaign sent an email from Corbyn-supporting journalist Paul Mason to over 100,000 of their most active supporters urging them to use AEIP’s resources to find and take part in a protest this weekend.
- Over 100 events protesting against the five-week suspension of democratic accountability took place today and more are being added all the time to an activist-run site at https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=126xVlyiCy5vkZhJFDVNJyMQFFuCuliV5&ll=53.474579901471635%2C-1.8786450999999715&z=6
- In London there was a massive protest of around 10,000 blocking traffic in Westminster and Whitehall
- Protests still to come include a Let Us Be Heard People’s Vote rally in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on Sunday lunchtime when hundreds of people are expected to hear local MP Anna Turley denounce plans for an undemocratic No Deal as a disaster for the North of England.
- The People’s Vote campaign has been deluged with small donations - with a crowdfunding appeal reaching six figures within just six hours while its grassroots groups have reported surge of support and new recruits as anger at the prime minister’s attempts to swindle the people of their democratic rights.
- Sign-ups for the People’s Vote march on October 19 are now already approaching the level of the demonstration it staged in the same month last year when an estimated 750,000 took to the streets of London.
- In a little over 48 hours, 1.6 million have signed petitions calling for Parliament not to be prorogued: significantly, data on the petition on the Parliamentary site shows that, unlike the earlier petition calling for Article 50 to be revoked, there is no strong relationship between where people are signing and the referendum result: Johnson’s actions appears to have bridged the June 2016 divide and for the first time anger is as strong in areas that voted Leave as in areas that voted Remain. Opinion polling has backed this up – showing that significant numbers of 2016 leave voters opposed the shut-down of democracy.
Next week the focus will move on Parliament, where MPs are expected to move to legislate to require the Government to request an extension of the Brexit deadline rather than force an undemocratic No Deal on the country.
Downing Street, which had been hoping to campaign behind a slogan of the “people versus politicians” is now hoping it can rely on unelected peers to filibuster any such legislation – only adding to the sense that the Government will do anything to suppress democracy.