Crowds march, wave banLondon
Tens of thousands of demonstrators are taking to the streets across Britain and outside the gates of Downing Street in protest against Boris Johnson’s move to suspend parliament.
Crowds brandished banners pledging to “defend democracy”, chanted “stop the coup” and waved EU flags in London in a bid to resist the parliament shutdown.
Demonstrators are massing at protests in dozens of locations around the country including Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham, Brighton, Swansea, Bristol and Liverpool, reports the Guardian.
One Facebook group for the capital’s protest event, called “Stop the coup, defend democracy”, said: “Boris Johnson is trying to shut down our democracy so that he can deliver on his Brexit agenda. We can’t just rely on the courts or parliamentary process to save the day. We all have a duty to stand up and be counted.”
Organisers have backed the use of peaceful civil disobedience at the protests. It comes after critics have accused the prime minister of trying to circumvent parliamentary democracy to stop MPs blocking a no-deal Brexit. The protests are being organised by a series of groups including Momentum, the grassroots campaign organisation set up to support Corbyn.
In London, crowds chanted outside the gates of Downing Street and waved homemade placards. Laura Parker, Momentum’s national coordinator, told the crowd from a nearby stage: “This is our democracy and we will not let an unelected prime minister manage this power grab. “He wants to shut the system down and hide … We know where you live, Mr Johnson.”
Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, also took to the stage to deliver a message from Jeremy Corbyn, saying that he “100% supports this demonstration” and would soon be in No 10 as prime minister. The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, labelled Johnson a “dictator” in a stinging attack as he addressed crowds outside Downing Street.
Referencing Corbyn’s absence from the rally – which earlier prompted cries of “where’s Jeremy?” from protesters – McDonnell said the brought a “message of solidarity” from the Labour leader. He went on to attack the prime minister’s move to suspend parliament, saying it had “rightfully” been called “a very British coup”. —Agenciesners and chant ‘stop the coup’ in cities across UK