Shuffling for Europe

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.’

Richard Sadler, Chair of North Yorkshire for Europe, and apparently Director of Music for the day.

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.

Yorkshire for Europe!

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. 

A newly teenage girl protests.

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.

31 thoughts on “Shuffling for Europe”

  1. We shuffled as well then used local knowledge to get to Parliament Square to hear the speeches. I thought M Hessletine was magnificent in the way he spoke about unity and peace. My Dad who died at 93 just before his postal vote came for the referendum said in one of the last conversations we had that the only reason he was going to vote remain was because having seen very active service in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean he didn’t want any one to have to do what he did or see what he saw – the EU had kept the peace since 1945. On a lighter note I loved the dachshund wearing a sign which said “biscuits not Brexit”. I’ve spent most of the afternoon glued to Parliament live and am now utterly depressed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a shame your dad didn’t live to cast his vote. We didn’tgo to Parliament Square from lack of local knowledge – I went to school in Westminster after all – but because we assumed we’d never get near it, however many back streets we used. I’ve gathered since that we were wrong. Ah well, there’s always YouTube. Malcolm’s glued to the Parliamentary Channel too. I just can’t do it. Too depressing.

      Like

    1. If only doing our bit were enough. So many of us have been campaigning for weeks and months, and while the public mood seems to have changed, apparently ‘the people have spoken’. But it’s alright for Theresa May to have multiple attemps at her deal….

      Like

  2. Already that last pic on the YT video is FAR more impressive than the crowd at the inauguration speech of the guy in the u.s…….
    I‘m so in awe of you and your friends that you DID take it on you to make that trip and BE PRESENT and made your voice heard. It‘s easy to nod and say ‚Yeah, we should‘ and to GO and SAY IT. Show that you MEAN IT. I‘m so dismayed for all our friends, their children and grand-children (and for ourselves too as we will once more be ‚invading foreigners‘ when we simply want to visit this great country!). Thank You

    Like

  3. Already that last pic on the YT video is FAR more impressive than the crowd at the inauguration speech of the guy in the u.s…….
    I‘m so in awe of you and your friends that you DID take it on you to make that trip and BE PRESENT and made your voice heard. It‘s easy to nod and say ‚Yeah, we should‘…. But you made the effort to GO and SAY IT. Showed that you MEAN IT. I‘m so dismayed for all our friends, their children and grand-children (and for ourselves too as we will once more be ‚invading foreigners‘ when we simply want to visit this great country!). Thank You

    I don‘t know, can you take off the FIRST comment; I started it on the iPad and I had a lull in the connection, so part of it didn‘t get in at the right place…. Sorry; I thought I could take it off but I can‘t!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It was encouraging to see so many people travelling from around the country, and the contrast between Remain support and the Brexit ‘Farage’ march was enormous, although the polls are swinging around all over the place. May has made an unbelievable mess of it, but the politicians appear nervous as nobody is confidently predicting a clear result if there’s a second vote. I worry that Leave people (not Leave politicians and pundits) across the country might not be publicly voicing their views, but will still vote to leave. Honestly, don’t know how Cameron and Osborne sleep at night.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *Whisper*. I’m not really in favour of a PV. I’d much rather politicians would stand up and revoke Article 50. As if. David Cameron? He quite fancies being Foreign Secretary, didn’t you know?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, agree with you. I signed Revoke Petition at 170,000 mark and quickly messaged all family with link (Twitter has been useful in this respect as spreads info speedily.)

        Like

  5. I have been trying to pay attention to all this–really, I have. I figured you must’ve been at the march and I can see it was hugely impressive. The news here is all so weird and unsettling that I get distracted by our own problems . . .

    Like

  6. Of course you were there – good for you!! It is so amazing to see how many people are trying to rescue your country from this situation. It is dizzying trying to follow from afar but it seems there is not much clear political leadership from anyone except groups like yours.

    Like

  7. Margaret. I don’t know what to say or even think any more. Thank you for travelling to London and marching (shuffling) all day for this great cause. I have signed though I’m sure it will do no good.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It is important for the march to make it clear that many, many people are actively for Europe so that cannot be so easily denied/ignored – for what that is worth in what you so accurately describe as a shambles. I watched May’s deal fail for the third time in Parliament today. What a crazy gamble her brinkmanship was, and now what?? Dazed and confused … and despondent too. Thinking of you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. UKIP has its own problems, and there are many Tories who see themselves as ‘true blue’, and lifelong members of the party. But the disconnect between the ERG (ardent Brexiteers) and ‘one nation’ Tories is increasingly manifest. And of course the Labour party isn’t exactly united either …..

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.