Sunday 18 March 2018

Pro-EU protesters call for action to maintain UK's place in Europe

Mark Thomas organised the march to address his
Mark Thomas organised the march to address his "anger"
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron addresses Remain supporters
A man with the flag of the European Union painted on his face
Remain supporters marching to Parliament Square
Susan from South Wales poses for a photo with a home-made European Union flag
Remain supporters near Park Lane in London
European Union flags fly above Remain supporters
There has been widespread anger over the referendum result
Remain supporters gather on Park Lane in London
A Remain supporter has the European Union flag reflected in her sunglasses
Remain supporters demonstrate in Parliament Square
Thousands of Remain supporters set for the march
A Remain supporter on Park Lane in London
Remain supporters demonstrate in Parliament Square
A Remain supporter wearing face paint and European flags
Remain supporters demonstrate during the March for Europe rally
Two Remain supporters on Park Lane
Remain supporters make their frustrations known
A European Union flag in front of Big Ben
Remain supporters near Park Lane in London

Musician Jarvis Cocker recorded a video message in solidarity with pro-EU supporters on the March For Europe rally in London.

An estimated 35,000 demonstrators at the pro-EU event watched the film, which was played alongside speeches from musician and activist Bob Geldof, journalist and TV presenter Billie JD Porter, MPs and impassioned protesters.

In the film the Pulp frontman held up a world map and said: "You cannot deny geography. The UK is in Europe."

Geldof urged Remain campaigners to log out of social media and instead take to the streets to stop the UK's exit from the EU.

"Let's get real," he said. "Going online and tweeting your indignation is only venting into the ether. It achieves nothing.

"Come out. Take action amongst your friends, work colleagues and in your neighbourhoods."

Labour peer Michael Cashman told the crowd: "We need to uphold the values of democracy and inclusiveness which are at the heart of the EU and this country. Decent British values are also the values of the European Union."

Porter said: "We're all angry and we're all scared and, quite frankly, some of us are ashamed. We have been eager to show the rest of the world that the decision does not speak for all of us."

Demonstrators wearing flags as capes and wielding home-made placards saying "Bremain" and "We Love the EU" squeezed into Parliament Square and spilled into neighbouring streets.

Father and daughter Bill Baker, 59, and Jess Baker, 22, from Islington, north London, had made a banner for the march which read: "I will always love EU."

Ms Baker said: "We didn't want to leave, but if you respect the decision of the referendum, which we should, we still want Britain to be EU orientated, outward looking and inclusive."

A naked woman on a balcony in Park Lane was cheered by the crowds when she flashed at marchers as they walked from Hyde Park to Westminster.

The rally was the idea of remain voters Keiran MacDermott and activist Mark Thomas, who said he felt "anger, frustration and need to do something".

They worked with Secret Cinema, a company which stages live film presentations, and Pride to put on the march.

Mr MacDermott said: "I was hoping there would be a clear message to come out of today, a political edge, and I think we succeeded. People want politicians to reconsider Brexit and want the UK to remain with the EU."

A statement released after the rally said: "Today we joined thousands of people backing March For Europe and we called for the country to come together in a positive democratic discussion over the new partnership with Europe.

"We condemn the misinformation over Brexit and believe we need a properly informed debate on the way forward. We cannot pull up the drawbridge to Europe and call on our politicians to set out a clear route map for this partnership.

"Politicians must be prepared to put to the British people their prospectus for the new way forward through a general election or second referendum."

Press Association

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