Leeds marches for Europe

We don’t do protest marches much.  Well, we did when we lived in France, obviously, because protesting is a way of life there.  Here?  Not so much.

But with Brexit only a year away, and with the intolerable consequences to our economy, our services, our multi-cultural and inclusive way of life becoming daily more apparent, we wanted to join the Leeds March for Europe, arranged in solidarity with events being held in Edinburgh, in Ipswich, in Exeter, in Pontypridd, in Maidenhead, in Ipswich and on the Isle of Wight.

Teresa May, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Nigel Farage lead the way.

We arrived.  We were initially disappointed.  There was a van, topped off with May, Johnson, Gove and Farage and a netball pitch sized banner waiting to lead things off, but were there really only enough people present to fill the Headrow in front of the Town Hall?

Setting off from Leeds Town Hall

Well, no as it turned out.  We set off with new-found friends from York, but soon dropped back to see the real size of the procession.  It went on …. and on.  We met people from every political party and none.  We met OAPs against Brexit.  We met Grannies against Brexit.  We met teenagers against Brexit. We joined in chants orchestrated from different parts of the route.  We met anti-Brexit groups from Hull, from Kent, from Sheffield, from….all over the place.  We were peaceful and good humoured and met surprisingly little heckling.

Back outside the town Hall, it was time for speeches.  We heard from politicians from every main party (well, not UKIP….) and cheered them all.  We heard from the impassioned and articulate young founders of OFOC!      (Our Future, Our Choice) some of whom hadn’t been able to vote in the  referendum, but will have to live with its consequences.  We heard from Joan Pons Laplana, a Spanish nurse who has worked in Britain for 17 years, who has a family here, and who no longer feels welcome. We heard from Elena Remigi, founder of Our Brexit Testimonies, from a young British research scientist who also feels her future threatened, and from Sue Wilson, leader of Bremain in Spain.  And we heard from The Big Names.  Prof. AC Grayling courteously and respectfully demolished the arguments on the placard held aloft by the sole courageous Brexiteer who had joined the rally.  Our own MEP Richard Corbett was as incisive and to the point as ever.  And Lord Adonis brought the whole affair to an energising  conclusion, working the crowd so that we all agreed, as we began to make our way home, that we each have a responsibility to work towards making sure that the disaster which is Brexit never actually takes place.

 

Click on any image to see it full size.

22 thoughts on “Leeds marches for Europe”

  1. Excellent, well done, well done. I was so cross that I missed the protest in Ipswich and arrived just as they were packing up all the bunting and flags outside the university. Sadly, I see the BBC news hardly mentioned the protests across the wider country although Leeds did get a photo acknowledgement.

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  2. I have seen Prof Grayling speak: erudite and courteous as you described. What a pity there was relatively little media coverage: it sounds like such a strong example of strong but peaceful protest.

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  3. Peaceful marches seem to be in vogue again–we had huge ones here (and around the world, I guess) protesting gun violence. The masses of humanity make such uplifting images, in addition to some of the verbal messages. Is there any chance, at all, that Brexit won’t happen?

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    1. Your Saturday marches made the top of the news on Saturday – and quite right too – well done those young people to whom it’s so important. Our marches got scarcely a mention….. who knows what the future will bring as far as that goes? I know what I WANT to happen.

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  4. As you know, we have our own disaster here across that great big pond. I wish I knew how ours will turn out, just as you wonder about yours. When I was in England, almost two years ago now, I got into a discussion with two opposing views of Brexit from two citizens of your country. It was actually very enlightening, and I enjoyed it immensely. It turned out to be a good preview of what I am now a part of here in my own country. I was so proud of the hundreds of thousands of people who marched all over this country last Saturday. One of our sons flew to Washington to march with another of our sons, his wife, and our youngest grandchild who live in the D.C. area. The young will inherit what we create…let’s hope we can undo some of the mess we have made, so we can be proud of what we are leaving to them!

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    1. Well done your family. And all those young – and older – Americans who came together on Saturday, making headline news here in the UK. Yes indeed – many people are working in different ways for a different future. We can only hope ….

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  5. Well done! We work away at it down here with the like minded. There seems to be a lot of us although to an extent we all live in a bubble. However County Council today was a reality check! J & I have joined the European Movement. As you say all political parties and none – this is so much bigger than party politics.

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    1. Last time I went to a European Movement meeting, we were almost without exception drawing our pensions. Living among like-minded people, it is indeed easy to feel that all might eventually be well. Then I pass a news stand and see a Daily Mail or Daily Express headline …..

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  6. GOOD on all of you! Well done!
    Is it too late to STILL HOPE that a second Brexit vote could be cast? With the knowledge everybody has now it would be a different story altogether…. Poor Great Britain – not so great.

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