Labour MP Clive Lewis has thrown down the gauntlet to Boris Johnson over his plans to suspend parliament. Lewis vowed that “The police will have to remove us from the chamber”. He also called for people to “take to the streets”:
If Boris shuts down Parliament to carry out his No-Deal Brexit, I and other MPs will defend democracy.
The police will have to remove us from the chamber. We will call on people to take to the streets.
We will call an extraordinary session of Parliament. #PeoplesParliament
— Clive Lewis MP (@labourlewis) August 28, 2019
Lewis’s tweet came as #StopThe Coup and #GeneralStrike started trending on Twitter. Johnson claims that the suspension is purely in order to start a new session of parliament. But critics, including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, believe it’s an attempt to force through a no-deal Brexit. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell also described it as a “coup”:
Make no mistake, this is a very British coup. Whatever one’s views on Brexit, once you allow a Prime Minister to prevent the full and free operation of our democratic institutions you are on a very precarious path. https://t.co/9kwmw8i6E1
— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) August 28, 2019
And even Change UK (or whatever name the ‘party’ is now calling itself) made probably its first-ever valid point:
— Paul Mason (@paulmasonnews) August 28, 2019
Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle also said he’d join Lewis:
Same here: we must stop this coup. The people and their Parliament must have a say.
The last time the executive picked a fight with Parliament it didn't end well for that leader, I think there is a plaque in Westminster Hall where the subsequent trial took place. https://t.co/Cw5TeGwTRx
— Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP 🌹🇪🇺🏳️🌈 (@lloyd_rm) August 28, 2019
And Green MP Caroline Lucas echoed Lewis’s call too:
If parliament is shut down & silenced on biggest issue of the day, we must take to streets in peaceful protest – and MPs must refuse to leave the Chamber & continue to sit as a #PeoplesParliament
— Caroline Lucas (@CarolineLucas) August 28, 2019
If not now, when?
Lewis is right. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary actions. Direct action is needed – whether it’s MPs refusing to leave the chambers or mass protests in the streets.
This isn’t about whether you voted Leave or Remain – this isn’t about Brexit. This is about an unelected prime minister riding roughshod over our supposed democracy.
The question every one of us has to ask ourselves is: ‘if we’re not prepared to take action now, when is the right time?’ And then we have to ensure the response to this is massive.
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