The Together for the Final Say March, from Park Lane to Parliament Square has today become one of the biggest public protests in British history.
Organisers estimate the size of the crowd spilling in from side streets and into Hyde Park as being comparable to the last People’s Vote when an estimated 1 million people took part.
This would rank today’s march alongside the campaign previous protest on March 23, 2019 and the Stop The War demonstration in 2003 as the biggest in the UK’s history.
- The number of coaches bringing people to London is 172 – 42 more than the previous demonstration.
- More than 1.5 million leaflets have been distributed in recent weeks publicising the march – 600,000 more than for the last protest.
- Sign-ups online and on Facebook have also exceeded all previous marches organised by the campaign.
- Aerial pictures from television helicopters estimated peak crowd densities were at 0.4 – 0.5m2 per person
- Flow and fill rates suggested the march was at last as big as the last Put It To the People protest on March 23.
In assessing the size of the march, information has been amassed from staff and volunteers on the ground along the entire march route from Park Lane to Parliament Square, as well as examining aerial footage. Crowds were also seen making their way to the route at Park Lane long after the march had set off from all main roads to the North and South. People are still joining the march as we release this statement.
The march moved off earlier than scheduled under advice from our safety teams to guarantee public safety. At the same time, organisers reported large areas in Hyde Park, Wellington Arch, Green Park and St James’s Park had overspill crowds of many thousands.
There were also reports of high-density crowds packing the pavements and spilling into side streets along the full march route - including Park Lane, Piccadilly, St James’s Street, Pall Mall and Whitehall. Some marchers are likely to have been at a standstill for an extended period of time. Severe bottlenecks were reported at Piccadilly where the crowds could not move for some time. Trafalgar Square also filled with people moving off the street and into the square itself.
A spokesperson for the People’s Vote campaign said:
“It is impossible to put an exact figure on the size of this immense crowd because it is an open route spilling out across central London.
“But indications can be taken from flow and fill rates and crowd density monitoring. Many thousands of people are trying to make their way to Parliament Square through side streets. At the time the rally began, and for a significant period of time after the start, people were still arriving in Park Lane.
“Our assessment is based on professional advice and whatever the exact number, there can be no doubt that this ranks as one of the greatest protests this country has ever seen.
“We would like to thank all of the agencies who have contributed to making this march such a success, enabling traffic and crowd management plans which were put in place and ran to plan.
“Keeping this number of people safe is a huge effort and our thanks go to the Metropolitan Police, Westminster City Council, Transport for London, London Underground, London Ambulance Service, London Fire Brigade, British Transport Police and Select Security.”
The People’s Vote campaign is today asking everyone – whether they took part in the march or not – to sign a letter to MPs, MEPs, the Prime Minister and the elected heads of government among the 27 other members of the European Council.
- Hundreds of thousands of leaflets are being distributed by volunteers along the route of the march and in Parliament Square asking people to add their signatures and adverts will appear in London Underground stations as protesters make their way home.
- The letter will be delivered simultaneously – but before the final Brexit deadline - to Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament, as well as the European Parliament and the Consilium building in Brussels where the European Council meets.
- In addition, MPs will be sent a list of signatories to this letter from their constituencies so that they know the strength of feeling among those who elected them before any final decision is made.
In an email to People’s Vote supporters this morning, Keir Starmer MP, the shadow Brexit secretary, says:
“Today, we're marching together to say we trust the people, not Boris Johnson, to solve this Brexit crisis. And we’re sending a message to the powerful. The Prime Minister will be inside the gates of Parliament for an emergency debate on his hard Brexit proposal which is a million miles away from what he promised in 2016.
“But I am proud to stand with the people – from all walks of life and every corner of our country – outside. And today we will be asking you to add your name to a letter we will send to the powerful in the UK and in the Europe.
“It's a letter from the people that will go, not only to the Prime Minister, every MP and MEP, as well as the head of all the heads of government among the 27 other European member states.
“It asks them to honour our shared democratic values; it asks them not to turn away from us now and deny us the chance for the final say.
“Whether you're joining us today or not, add your name to the letter now and send a message to the powerful.”
The text of the letter states:
You have the power here in the UK and in the EU. But we, the people, ask you to honour our shared democratic values by giving us the final say on Brexit.
More than three years since the last referendum, it's now clear the proposed terms for leaving are a million miles from what was promised and cannot be said to represent the will of the people.
We do not want the powerful to force on the people a Brexit that will damage the economy in both the UK and the EU, threaten the peace process in Northern Ireland, as well as lead to years more uncertainty and chaos.
Please do not turn your back on this last chance to stop us turning in on ourselves. Allow us the chance to check whether we want to proceed with this Brexit. Let us decide in a People's Vote.
Notes to Editors:
The full text of the letter and sign-up page can be found at: