Last week, the one at the end of which the long-planned Put it to the People March was due to take place, the Brexit Drama went from bad to worse to excruciating. It seemed a perfect time to go to London and make our views known.
We’d been before of course. Twice. We’d been last June, we members of North Yorkshire for Europe, sharing a coach with protestors from York. We went in October, with a coach of our own. We went again on Saturday, with three coaches, part of a flotilla of 19 from Yorkshire and 200 from the country as a whole.
Here we are arriving, marshalling ourselves.
And here we are singing one of the nineteen songs from the Yorkshire Remoaners’ Songbook. Our signature number is this….
We’ve come from Yorkshire just to say (just to say)
All Brexit deals are cra-ap………
and so on, plus two other verses, obviously sung to the tune of ‘On Ilkley Moor baht ‘at.’
It would be untrue to say we started marching. The crowds were such that we often didn’t move at all, and when we did, we shuffled. We soon got split up, but it was always cheering to see that wherever we looked, there was a Yorkshire flag – the white rose on a blue ground – somewhere in sight.
There were fellow marchers to talk to – the young girl who’d chosen to spend her 13th birthday marching, the elderly Irish woman who’d come over to vent her anger at how Ireland’s particular issues were being sidelined. There were witty posters to admire: there are a few at the end of this post. And more here.
On we went, making the roads on our route totally impassable for passers-by. One hour – two hours – three hours of shuffling – we were still only in Pall Mall. By now the speeches were beginning in Parliament Square on the other side of Trafalgar Square, and we were still nearly a mile away. Never mind.
Drummers struck up, and entirely unbidden, our voices, hundreds strong, spontaneously divided as cantor and antiphon, though the words were the same: ‘Stop Brexit now!’ This little interlude seems to me to be a metaphor for how most Remainers that I know treat one another: cooperatively, in harmony, and with mutual respect.
And then … then we had to go. We had to find our coach, due to depart on the long road back to Yorkshire.
Although we were marching to be given a Final Vote on the Brexit Deal, there’s now equally loud pressure that Parliament should Revoke Article 50. Now.
If you’re a British Citizen, and haven’t done so already, please sign here.
And if you’d like an aeriel view of the whole thing, here you are, thanks to The Guardian. We’re off camera. We didn’t get to the centre of the action.