London, united for Europe

A multitudinous demonstration took place in London yesterday, days before the Article 50 will be triggered, to protest against the Brexit. It was organised by Unite for Europe, a group of British and European citizens who think that a second referendum is possible and necessary.

European flag seen at the demonstration. Unite for Europe. Source: archive.

A day like yesterday 60 years ago, Europe voted the Treaty of Rome, which established the points in which the EEC (European Economic Community) was based. Later on, this community would become the European Union that we know today.

The demonstration had three parts.

First of all, a march through the centre of London, from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square, continuing until the Parliament Square, located only a few metres from Westminster. This was peaceful and there were no incidents, despite the big number of assistants, around 100,000 according to the Metropolitan Police’s estimations.

Secondly, a moment of silence in memory of the victims and injured in the attack that took place last Wednesday at Westminster.

Among the attendants to the demonstration there were people of all ages who held colourful banners with messages like ‘Brits don’t quit’, ‘stronger together’ or ‘EU’ve got a friend in me’.

Banner. ‘Brits don’t quit. Source: archive.

In the last part, the rally, the hosts introduced the different politicians, personalities and several pro-EU organisations that expressed their support to the demonstration’s cause. Among these, Members of the Parliament (National and European levels), journalists, scientists, professionals from different countries of the EU, as well as a group of youths between 17 and 24 years old, who spoke about how they felt after the results of the referendum, which they considered ‘unfair’, because, according to them, ‘the elderly have put the future of youths in risk’.

The speakers

The youngest member of this group, a GCSE student of Pakistani origins, said that he felt Pakistani, muslim, but, above all, British and European and that those concepts ‘go hand to hand’.

Emmy van Deurzen, honorary professor of psychology in the University of Sheffield, affirmed that Europe was based in something else than economic treaties. Instead, she said, what keeps us united are the ideas, values, solidarity and how we want to be. In addition, she explained that her country, Netherlands, was completely destroyed after the 2nd World War and that it’s vital to work and stay together.

Last but not least, the Member of the Parliament and former vice-Prime Minister, Nick Clegg (from the Liberal Democrat party), who is married to a Spanish woman, affirmed that Theresa May was not elected by anyone (as she took up the position left by David Cameron, and, therefore, she had no right to take the United Kingdom out of the common market.

Banner: A man without a country/Un homme sans pays. Unite for Europe. Source: archive.

Finally, the demonstration came to an end peacefully and attendants were invited to deposit the flowers that some had brought next to the fences of the Parliament.

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