sábado, 2 de julho de 2016
Never Gonna Give EU Up, cantaram milhares em Londres / We are the 48%’: tens of thousands march in London for Europe
‘We are the 48%’: tens of thousands march in London for Europe
Protesters aim to ‘show our neighbours we love them’
Saturday 2 July 2016 22.16 BST
The hollow, bitter wit of the banners and placards was a fair indication of who took to the streets of London, in their tens of thousands, on the March for Europe on Saturday, hastily scrambled on Facebook. “And if this isn’t big enough,” said Jonathan Shakhovskoy, who is with a marketing firm in the music industry, “we’ll do it again next week, and the week after. Normalise the mood, make it less ugly.”
“Un-Fuck My Future”, “No Brex Please, We’re British”, they read. Pictures of Whitney Houston with “I Will Always Love EU”, “Europe Innit” and “I wanna be deep inside EU”. “All EU Need Is Love”, “Fromage not Farage”, “Eton Mess” and, more seriously, “Science Needs EU”. “Hell no, we won’t go!” they shouted, rounding Piccadilly Circus.
At the end of the march, in Parliament Square, protesters listened to speakers including Bob Geldof and Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker as well as politicians such as the Labour MP David Lammy, and Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron.
Geldof urged Remain campaigners to take to the streets, speak to their neighbours and work 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 among your friends, work colleagues and in your neighbourhoods. We need to individually organise ourselves. Organise those around us and do everything possible within our individual power to stop this country being totally destroyed.” .
Cocker, in a recorded a video message for the rally, held up a world map saying: “You cannot deny geography. The UK is in Europe.”
The comedian and co-organiser Mark Thomas said the march was to address the “anger, frustration and need to do something”. “We would accept the result of the referendum if it was fought on a level playing field. But it was full of misinformation and people need to do something with their frustration.”
No one was fooling themselves that these were the penitent huddled masses from Ebbw Vale or Sunderland come to beg after all for EU funding; this was a vocal segment of the 48% for whom departure from the EU is a disgrace, a catastrophe or both.
“I’m here because I feel totally disenfranchised, hoodwinked and browbeaten into this political, financial and social suicide,” said Mark Riminton, a business consultant from Sussex, “and the only thing I can think of to do is go on a march.”
Lark Tester, an optometrist, had come from Cardiff – and drawn a heart and written “Peace, Love, EUnity” on the back of a pizza box to make her placard. “Even if we achieve nothing,” she said, “we will have shown our neighbours in Europe that we are not all for Brexit, and we love you.” But her mother-in-law, Tas Earl, insisted: “There is a point to this. We need to stress that it is not possible for them to go ahead with article 50 with just under half the country totally opposed to what they are doing.”
David Lang, a manager with a precision engineering company in Birmingham, said he was one of the few people at his firm to vote Remain, “even though departure from the EU could bankrupt us in two years – almost all our exports are to Europe. It’s madness.”
Joanna Chapman-Andrews from Winchester made the point that “it’s a good thing in some ways. It’s brought a whole lot of issues into the open that weren’t there and needed confronting. It’ll shake things down.”
“It’s the mother of all shakedowns,” said her daughter Anna, who lives on a houseboat at Kew and had brought Joanna’s granddaughter Sadie in a pushchair for her first demo.
There was a strong hint of one of the many upcoming chapters in this unsteady narrative: a brain-drain from Britain, and the shedding of British passports. Alex Good, an architect, had convened his friends in a coffee shop on Curzon Street before the march, and joked that it was his leaving party before moving to France. “I’m here, but to be honest I think the march will achieve very little. I campaigned for Remain, and it was clear to me that Britain has a lot to do before it really deserves to be a member of the EU.”
The demonstration arrives in Parliament Square Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
His friend Jonathan has an Irish passport, and is about to set in motion securing the same for his three children, “so they don’t get stuck here”. The writer and historian Stella Tillyard was marching, but also carefully planning her next move: residency in Italy, to which she is entitled for family reasons. Stationery retailer Julian Watson, up from Bristol, explained that his father-in-law was Dutch, and that he and his wife plan to “be living in Holland, if this happens, with Dutch citizenship”.
Liz Mackie and her boyfriend Leo Dawson – both in their 20s – planned to move to Athens within six months, said Leo. “The vote showed that deep racism is not something that happens to other people, locked away,” said Liz. “It’s everywhere – ultimately this vote was about race, and fuck ’em, I’m out.”
In some ways, those who watched the march pass were as interesting to observe as the demonstrators. From the open top of a tour bus, a man jeered and booed, thumbs down. But chambermaids ran to the windows of bedrooms they were cleaning at the Ritz to cheer, applaud and wave.
Fiona Edwards from Brighton held her child’s hand in one of hers and in the other a placard reading: “A future of hope can’t be built on hatred and bullying.” “We’re here because we are the 48%,” she said. Exactly, not the 51.9%.