Two hundred and fifty local supporters boarded five coaches on Saturday 20th October to head down to Park Lane in London to join the ‘People’s Vote March’ to Parliament Square. The march was organised by a coalition of national pro-European groups with the aim of putting pressure on the government to give MPs the option of voting in favour of a people’s vote in the meaningful say they have been promised on any final Brexit deal.
In London, the supporters on the coaches were joined by many more from the Stratford-on-Avon District and the wider area who had made their own way to the march. Together they helped the march go down in the record books as the second largest demonstration ever held in the country. Estimates of the total number range from 700,000 to 800,000. The supporters were made up of all age groups including many families and young people. For many this was their first experience of joining a public demonstration such was the strength of the shared feeling that Brexit is bringing the country to the brink of a national disaster!
The coaches were organised by Stratford4Europe along with its partner group, Warwick District for Europe. Both are local, cross-party, grassroots campaign groups which have been lobbying since the 2016 referendum for Britain to continue to play a leading role in the EU. Such was the demand for places the groups had to lay on extra coaches and even then received so many last-minute enquiries they could easily have filled several more.
Chair of Stratford4Europe, Jonathan Baker, said:
‘It was hugely uplifting and inspirational to be among three quarters of a million people from all walks of life, all political persuasions and all parts of the country who all share in common the deeply held belief that Britain is better off being part of the European Union. Particularly impressive was the number of young people on the march. This really brought home the fact that Brexit is about what kind of country we want Britain to be in the future. Although the march was very good-humoured there was a shared conviction that the only way out of the looming crisis of a ‘bad deal’ or, even worse, a ‘no deal’ is to put the final decision about our EU membership back to the people.’
Building on the great success of the march Stratford4Europe is now looking with renewed enthusiasm to the future. It has another National Day of Action planned for Saturday 27th October when it will be conducting another of its street stalls in Stratford as well as a number of events with some high-powered speakers including Professor Michael Dougan and Edward McMillan-Scott.
Watch the clip below for a flavour of the day, with thanks to one of our talented S4E Supporters!