Protesters vow ‘if you steal our democracy, we’ll shut down the streets’

The Canary

Organisers are hoping “hundreds of thousands” of people will take part in disruptive protests across Britain this weekend in response to the Prime Minister’s plan to prorogue Parliament.

Anti-Brexit campaign group Another Europe Is Possible has organised 32 #StopTheCoup demonstrations to take place in England, Scotland and Wales on Saturday.

Meanwhile, left-wing group Momentum is calling on its members to “occupy bridges and blockade roads” in conjunction with the protests.

 

According to the Mirror, Laura Parker, Momentum’s national co-ordinator, said she would join an occupation of Parliament as the group stepped up its campaign.

It quoted her as saying: “Our message to Johnson is this: if you steal our democracy, we’ll shut down the streets.

“There are thousands of us who will join an occupation of Parliament and block the roads before we let Johnson close the doors on democracy.”

Michael Chessum, national organiser for Another Europe Is Possible, told the PA news agency that “disruption is the only form of leverage protesters can rely on”.

He said the group is not encouraging demonstrators to block roads, but that kind of disruption is “certainly possible”.

He added: “We would go further than anticipate (civil disobedience). We would defend it.”

Jeremy Corbyn visits Scotland
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has urged MPs to join the demonstrations (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has urged MPs to join the demonstrations and oppose the shutdown of Parliament.

In a letter to the Parliamentary Labour Party, he said: “I am addressing a major rally in Salford on Monday. But there are also public protests across the country this Saturday, there will be a rally in Parliament Square on Tuesday evening, and I encourage Labour MPs to be present and to share our message.”

Labour MP Clive Lewis also called for people to support the #StopTheCoup protests.

In a Twitter post, in which he shared a link to the protests’ online crowdfunding page, Lewis said: “Pls click & support and help us defend OUR democracy.”

Further mass demonstrations, organised by the People’s Assembly Against Austerity, are planned to take place on Tuesday to coincide with MPs returning to Westminster.

The calls for protests come as a petition against Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to suspend Parliament racked up more than 1.5 million signatures as of Friday morning.

It also follows multiple protests in London, Edinburgh and other cities on Wednesday, which took place within hours of Johnson announcing his plans.

Brexit
A Brexit protester in Westminster (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Chessum said he expects to see “hundreds of thousands” of people taking part in the demonstrations across the UK on Saturday, with the protest in London being the largest.

He said: “Ultimately we are not going to persuade Boris Johnson to change his mind through some intellectual exercise.

“This process needs to force the Government to change its course.”

The main London protest is due to take place outside Downing Street from midday on Saturday.

Other demonstrations will be held in cities including Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Swansea, Leeds, Bristol and Aberdeen.

Corbyn said in a letter to the Parliamentary Labour Party that “no-one voted for Boris Johnson’s shutdown of democracy”.

He said: “That is why the public outrage at his actions has been so deafening, and why I am encouraging MPs to join public protests opposing this shutdown and the Prime Minister’s threat of a no-deal Brexit.”

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  • Show Comments
    1. Today’s protest must renounce violence but bring maximum disruption. Peaceable disruption is perfectly legitimate action.
      The main body of London demonstrators will be at the gates of Downing St but there should be smaller, flash demos in as many crucial parts of the capital as possible. It’s easy to bring two hundred people together, stop the traffic and be gone before the police arrive. Don’t forget, our cities have been planned to make control of demonstrations easier. Haussman’s clearing of the network of small streets in Paris to lay the great boulevards where it was and is easy for the forces of control to hem in and drive out protesters, was not lost on our planners. We now have an advantage: social media allow us to come together and dissolve fast. And our protests can be headless. They always try to remove our leaders. The more we can do without them the better.
      We are protesting and celebrating at the the same time. Today is a celebration of democracy and the rights of the common folk. Let it be an atmosphere of celebration. Music, chanting, dancing. We have no need of violence. Only the unjust do. And let’s have banners which remind the police of of they have been underfunded and put under impossible pressure. Ordinary bobbies are the common folk too. Their democracy is being traduced. It is Johnson/Cummings, the two-headed psycopathic monster which is our enemy, not the coppers trying to pay the mortgage and feed their kids.
      Today must go down in history as an occasion when hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of common folk in a spirit of confidence, camaraderie, generosity and solidarity stood up to the Eton rabble, the entitled guttersnipes, the upper class mob who, in a funk, frit, in the face of democracy are shutting it down and declaring themselves above the law.
      Let’s do Johnson up like a kipper. He is the red herring. He has become the mere mouthpiece for the demented egotism of Commissar Cummings, the crypto-Stalinist who thinks he’s a genius. Let’s show them what the genius of the common folk looks like.

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