‘Theresa MAY, Theresa MIGHT
Just land us in a pile of SHITE!’
On Friday, I attended a ‘Vigil for Europe’ at Richmond Terrace, opposite Downing Street. It is being hosted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 5:30-9:00 pm, for as long as it takes to keep the UK in the EU. We can blog and tweet as much as we want about how we disapprove of the the referendum but until we show the government in person, it is difficult for our voices to be heard. Even if nothing changes, I want the history books to remember that half the population were against ‘Brexit’ and that a large proportion of them fought to stop it.
As Article 50 is expected to be initiated on Wednesday 29th March (tomorrow) press might be present and so we want a large crowd there. I am hoping to go, but as it is London and I’m in Doncaster, it might be difficult. If it is possible for you to go, please do. Friday was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed meeting fellow ‘Remainers’ and engaging with passers-by to explain what we were doing and why we are all so passionate about remaining in the EU.
What’s it all about?
The Richmond Terrace EU Vigil was started by Caroline Wills-Wright and Diane Datson and first took place 22nd February this year. You can join the Facebook group or follow them on Twitter and use the hashtag #No10Vigil. It doesn’t matter how large the group is, even if it’s just one person, what matters is that there is a consistent presence of those who are not giving up on the EU. The only time it has been cancelled was last Wednesday after the attack, as a sign of respect for the victims.
The idea is that we stand opposite 10 Downing Street, play some EU-inspired music, chant some slogans aimed at the government and generally have a good time. Personally, I found it moving to be surrounded by others who are so committed to keeping Britain in the EU. The march made me feel like I was part of a movement and it was incredible to be around so many like-minded people, but the vigil was more special: Maybe it’s because we have so much fun singing together and getting to know one another, it’s like an EU family. Everyone has their story and reasons for supporting the EU, everyone is so personally effected by ‘Brexit’, the people whose voices were neglected during the referendum campaigns and give a personal touch to the EU.
As mentioned in my last blog post, we started writing little messages for PM May to put on Twitter using the hashtag #MessagesForMay. Here are some from the vigil on Friday:
If you have anything you would like to say to Mrs May about her diabolical ‘Brexit’ plans, feel free to use the hashtag with your message on paper, chalkboard etc. in a photo like ours.
Having a good time
Who said protesting couldn’t be fun? I had an amazing time! If our very poor, out of tune, cat-screeching singing doesn’t convince May to reverse her ‘Brexit’ plans (even if it’s just to shut us up), then I don’t know what will! It was a lot of fun to sing together, with Peter Cook, the guitarist/musician.
More photos from Friday
Left on the pavement for everyone to see:
A rather blurry photo of Felix (sorry!), from Students For The EU, telling us about the new newspaper ‘The Young European’. Written by and for students to understand the EU.
Crocheted ribbons around the terrace made by Monica:
Remember to go follow and join the group! We can stop ‘Brexit’!
On Friday, the song ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon was dedicated to the victims of Wednesday’s attack. For me, and for many others, the march and all other ‘Brexit’ related protests which took place this week are still appropriate despite the attack because we are fighting hate. We are fighting intolerance and the rise of it since ‘Brexit’. This is the time to keep protesting. Since the referendum, hate and populism have been spreading like wild-fire across the globe, searching for any minority group to place blame upon for home-grown issues.
To me, the EU is more than just our biggest trading partner, our easy access to work and education, it is so much more. It is the friendships people have across the EU; it is the family I have in Italy and Luxembourg; it is the history I have learned from going to these other countries. For me, the EU is worth fighting for. It is worth spending all this time and money travelling to protests, clogging up my blog with posts about the EU and ‘Brexit’, receiving hate on social media and being told I’m “subverting democracy”. The EU is not perfect, but it is the reason I was born (my mum only came to the UK because of the EU allowing her the ease to study in another country); it allows me to see my family whenever I want, visa-free; it allows me to be a part of more than just ‘little England’.
This is why you should go to the vigil and other protests. We can throw the economic statistics in people’s faces all we want, but the truth is, people’s social lives depend on the EU and by Britain leaving, we are forcing so many families to be torn apart emotionally and, if worse-comes-to-worst, physically. I do not believe we should stand idly by and watch people’s livelihoods get ruined because of lies and hate incited by the Leave campaign. I want my country back, and I will keep fighting for it.