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Harrogate & Knaresborough Lib Dems: Marching for a People's Vote

November 2, 2018 9:39 AM
By Josy Thompson & Angela Thompson

Josy Thompson and Angela Thompson (no relation!) are two of our members who travelled to London where they joined hundreds of thousands of others calling for a People's Vote on the deal agreed with the EU. Here's their account of that day:

People's Vote March 20.10.18

"Saturday 20th October. What an extraordinary day! The sun was shining, the crowds were overwhelming. Coach after coach unloading passengers from all over the country and from all walks of life, people spilling out of tube stations and off public buses all turning up to march to demand a final say on Brexit.

The crowds started on Oxford Street, a sea of blue and yellow, witty placards and full of laughter. Confusion as marchers tried to find each other, Park Lane packed on both sides with people pouring in from Hyde Park.

The Yorkshire contingent came together part way down Park Lane, our own 2 coach loads meeting up with those who had travelled separately from North, South, East and West Yorkshire. We waited patiently for the march to start, and it was almost 2 hours before we started shuffling towards Piccadilly. In the meanwhile a rousing rendition of 'On Ilkley Moor bah'tat' kept our spirits up.

To steal words from another marcher:

"As we started moving, it was as if a huge weight lifted from my shoulders and suddenly the world looked beautiful again, the leaves on the trees and the autumn sunshine. I remembered what normal life had been, before this huge worry and stress descended upon us all. We have all fought our guts out against derision, silence, criticism, threats, in some cases physical attacks. We've donated, marched, stickered, put flags on bridges, waved them at the proms, and popped up in front of camera crews. We've marched together, people of 28 nationalities, all affected by Brexit. We've made friends, mourned together and defended one another. Whatever this is and whatever happens--for let's make no mistake, this energy still needs to be translated into political change--this is a moment of great significance in the UK's history and we are all a part of it - the Leavers' insults bounce harmlessly off 700,000 shields".

The North Yorkshire group didn't make it to the speeches due to the sheer number of people ahead of us. Yet still hordes of people swamped Parliament Square. We didn't mind, we did our bit. We marched, we sang, we yelled, we met so many wonderful people, all putting themselves out to protest this wrong. We were there, on the day when we were finally heard. We were marching for all who couldn't make it and especially for those who had no vote: the young people, the EU citizens and the British citizens living in the EU27. Their lives directly impacted by a decision they had no say in.

Just a few months ago, a people's vote seemed very unlikely. Now it is what everyone is talking about. There will have to be a 'People's Vote', democracy must prevail."