Tens of thousands of anti-Brexit protesters hit streets of London
More than 50,000 people were estimated to march through London Saturday in hope of pressuring politicians to keep Britain in the European Union.
Organizers of the March For Europe, which includes popular event planners Secret Cinema, said they want politicians to fully understand how the move could affect millions of British and European people.
“We call for an end to political indecision about Britain’s future. We want our elected representatives to outline what our future is in Europe, to be transparent about how our country can thrive in troubling times,” a statement on the Facebook event page read.
Organizer Keiran MacDermott added, “The referendum was a massive mistake for our country and is a step in the wrong direction. We started this initiative to demand this situation be reconsidered and the UK’s relationship with the EU maintained. A good solution can and must be found.”
Campaigners took to the stage at Parliament Square to share stories and poetry, while giving speeches condemning the “lies” of the “Leave” campaign and calling for Britain to remain part of the EU.
One campaigner told the crowd that “Remain” supporters need to reach out to those who voted to leave. “We need to find a better alternative which involves staying in the EU and building their livelihoods,” she said.
Sir Bob Geldof spoke from the stage and condemned far-right UKIP leader Nigel Farage, claiming he used and lied to those “who have been left behind” by the government to convince them to vote for Brexit out of protest last week.
“What they didn’t tell them was that the only way to stop unemployment and stop austerity is to grow an economy,” he said.
Geldof urged those who voted to stay in the EU to talk to their neighbors that voted leave and ask them why they want a Brexit.
“Don’t get angry, explain,” he said.
Labour MPs David Lammy and Catherine West also spoke during the rally in Parliament Square.
Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron said the Brexit result “broke his heart” and told EU citizens living in the UK that “this is your home, and we’ll fight for your right to stay.”
“We will continue to be a European country,” he declared.
The group Another Europe Is Possible, which had the endorsement of shadow chancellor John McDonnell and backs the Remain side, also attended the demonstration.
Campaigner Luke Cooper told RT: “It’s brilliant to see thousands of young people are mobilizing in a wave of spontaneous anger at the Tory Brexit we see unfolding around us. It’s only too right young people are taking a lead; they didn’t vote for Brexit, now they’re taking to the streets to say not in my name.”
Secret Cinema founder Fabien Riggall said he was “dismayed” at the results of the EU referendum and subsequent “political instability, community division and market uncertainty.”
He added that he marched on Saturday because “there seems to be no clear route map for the country’s future. We have come together to demand our elected representatives outline what our future is in Europe – to be transparent and show us a vision of how these issues can be fixed."