Rally round the square: ‘Stop The Coup’ protesters won’t be silenced.

‘Stop the Coup’ protesters fill George Square in emotional response to Prorogation of Parliament. 

Michelle Woods and Kirsty McGregor 

 

Jeremy Corbyn was among the thousands that gathered in Glasgow’s George Square on Saturday, to take part in a rally against Boris Johnson’s decision to end the current parliamentary session, and against a no-deal Brexit.

By suspending parliament, Boris Johnson has thrown a spanner in the works for MPs hoping to take no-deal off the table.

Some have argued that the decision to prorogue parliament is a veiled attempt to ensure that a no-deal Brexit takes place on October 31st, the day we are set to leave the European Union.

 

The pro-European atmosphere in Glasgow’s George Square

 

Similar protests took place throughout the UK, after the request to suspend parliament was formally approved by Queen Elizabeth earlier in the week.

As the crowd gathered, chants of “Stop the Coup” could be heard, while “democracy is dead” placards were raised defiantly in protest. 

 

“Fundamentally, this is an issue about democracy.”

 

Speaking to the crowd in Glasgow, Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn said:

“what is happening in this country is that Boris Johnston as Prime Minister is undertaking a smash and grab raid against our democracy.

“Demonstrations are taking place everywhere because people are angered and outraged.

“The Tory party is trying to hijack the needs, aims, and aspirations of 65 million people. Well, think on Boris, it’s not on!

“Fundamentally, this is an issue about democracy.”

 

 

The busy event was awash with saltires and stars, sending a clear message of opposition towards leaving the EU without a deal, and Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament.

 

Democracy in action

 

Also present at the gathering were those who took the opportunity to champion the idea of Scottish independence, and to highlight issues around inequality and the distribution of wealth across the UK.

One such protester, Barbara Anderson, 35, from Edinburgh, voiced her concern over the legitimacy of Westminster as an institution, stating that Brexit negotiations have now overshadowed other more pressing issues:

“I want Scottish independence because I don’t believe in Westminster. I don’t want it because I feel like Scotland as a country is any better, or any more valid than the rest of the UK.” 

“We’re all busy looking at Brexit and the Amazon is burning. We need to stop all this noise and focus on what actually matters in the world.”

Speaking of her distrust of Westminster, Anderson said:

“I think a lot of this is about manipulating people to be looking in the other direction and to be fighting each other.

“It’s set up this narrative where people who voted for Brexit are going to be betrayed by the people who didn’t vote for it.

“But we’re all the same people and we all ultimately want the same thing, which is for our families to be safe, and to feel like we are being heard.”

 

Stranger than fiction?

 

Workers from the NHS were keen to voice messages of support for health services to remain publically-funded. One worker said:

“I’m not willing to let Boris Johnson or the Tories privatise our healthcare.

 

Save our services say NHS Staff

 

“I am trying to gather as many signatures as possible from people who have been helped by the NHS, which let’s face it, is basically everybody.

“I’m not willing to go down without a fight to save it.”

 

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