Marching in March
On March 25, a hardy bunch of pro-EU troops from across Berkshire joined the March for Europe in London, organised by Unite for Europe. Fortune did not favour the march in the immediate run-up, with some internal organisational issues and calls to cancel it completely in the wake of the horrific Westminster terror attacks which took place just a few days earlier.
But, in glorious spring sunshine, we joined tens of thousands of anti-Brexiters (police estimates were that over 100,000 people attended) to walk from Park Lane to Parliament in protest at both Britain’s departure from the EU and the way it is being done. Carrying our banner, and enjoying the drums and festive atmosphere, we loved the whole thing – not least the placards, including the one reading, with glorious British understatement: ‘I am quite cross’.
At a rally in Westminster at the end, high-profile speakers ranged from Tim Farron to Mike Galsworthy, Alistair Campbell and London MP David Lammy.
In a blistering speech, Nick Clegg said: “Like many of you I was profoundly saddened by the outcome of the referendum but that sadness has given way to a perpetual sense of anger about the choices that Theresa May and her government have taken since.”
We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.
Knowing that Article 50 was perhaps, in the words of Churchill, the end of the beginning rather than the end of Brexit, we thought we should mark the occasion. A vigil outside Reading’s Town Hall, by the Queen Victoria statue, on the eve of Article 50 day, was well attended. Holding flags and our banner, fresh from the march, we chatted to passers-by for a couple of hours in the early evening, and generally made our views known. Similar events were held in Wokingham and Maidenhead the next day, the day Article 50 was activated, right next to a busy road. We were seen by hundreds of people on their way home from work.
At the same time, small EU flags have been popping up in the unlikeliest of local places,
including in the constituency homes of Reading East MP Rob Milson, and Theresa May herself. Now who could have done such as thing, we wonder?