We asked the organisers of anti-Brexit protests what they hope to achieve

‘No votes should have been cast based on the sheer volume of untruths’


Following the country’s decision to leave the EU, tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in cities across the nation, protesting the result.

A major event scheduled for Tuesday was cancelled, but a group of participants protested at the House of Commons anyway.

Many will wonder, what do the organisers of these events actually want? A referendum re-run? A popular revolt? We got in touch with a few of them to ask.

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Mark: Organised a protest on July 2nd with around 14,000 people attending (London)

Why are you protesting?

I organised the protest (after a few wines) because of the lies. No votes should have been cast based on the sheer volume of untruths delivered by both sides.

What do you think those attending your protest are thinking?

I figure the mindset will be one of dismay and anger. The British people want to express their outrage at this result, and marching on Parliament is a very strong and effective method of venting that anger and dismay.

What would be your ideal end goal?

I’d like to see a million people marching peacefully on the streets, and for the government to realise a catastrophic mistake has been made.

If the upcoming protests are unsuccessful, what would be the back-up plan?

We can continue to march. A decision as bad as Brexit will continue to motivate people way beyond this weekend.

How did you feel when the EU referendum results were announced?

Like millions of people, I felt sick. That’s no way to wake up on a Friday morning.

What criticisms have you had to face during the organisation of the protest?

The principle opposition line is: “Why can’t you just accept the result and move on? It was a democratic decision.”

If it was a truly democratic decision based on facts then I’d accept the result. The people would have spoken based on the real picture. But they weren’t given the truth in any form and politicians resorted to emotionally- charged rhetoric with little in the way of reliable data.

Do you have any word for the 18-24 demographic who were largely for remaining in the EU?

The youth vote was very unrepresented – only 35 per cent turned out to vote, but there’s now a lot of frustration in that demographic.

What can they do now? Come along and protest! It won’t swing the vote back their way, but it might swing public opinion and political will. Come along on the 2nd of July and march and protest with us.

Freja: Also organised a protest on July 2nd (London)

Why are you protesting?

We are protesting as we feel the people have been deliberately misinformed and manipulated throughout both campaigns of the EU Referendum, which will contribute to the loss of the rights afforded to us as EU citizens.

We urge the government to stage an official investigation as to whether electoral autonomy was infringed upon throughout the EU Referendum Campaigns. If infringement is found on any side, we request both a second referendum and that the government seeks to reexamine the case for a permanent independent body to maintain minimum factual standards for all official campaign claims for the security of future votes.

In other words, we believe the government has a responsibility to see that democracy should not conclude at an advisory referendum collated under seemingly false integrity. We must respond with active discussion and investigation, especially in this situation where there is such a clear indication of the distribution of misinformation.foixnkc

What do you think the those attending your protest are thinking?

I believe those interested in attending are appalled at the widespread distribution of misinformation through the viscerally charged Leave campaign that wrongly secured widespread blame of the EU for Britain’s economic woes.

Brexit will make the deep financial disparities surfaced by the Leave result much more difficult to address. I think the people feel abandoned by the Tory government, despite the ‘clear economic plan’ that was promised alongside this referendum, that surely gave a false sense of integrity.

What would be your ideal end goal?

To urge the set up of an independent investigation into the indicative misleading agenda of both camps.

If successful in uncovering the distribution of misinformation and thus, the infringement of electoral autonomy, we would not only have absolute justification of the necessity of a second EU Referendum, but also the need for an active, independent authority to regulate the minimum factual standards of all official political campaign material for the security of future votes.

If the upcoming protests are unsuccessful, what would be the back up plan?

To what extent will the protests be classified as “unsuccessful?” In a view I share with Tony Benn, protest is “vital to a thriving democracy.”

These demonstrations are a commitment to regaining a track record of protest stamina, regaining our right to be heard in a democracy that prizes discussion and compromise, and a very clear signal that we are no longer comfortable, living in political docility, and that is a success.

How did you feel when the EU referendum results were announced?

I first checked the progress as the Gibraltar vote came in overwhelmingly in favour of Remain. My positivity depleted after the Sunderland vote count, after which I went to sleep and was awoken by my mother who told me the news that the Leave campaign had won. It was a subdued day in our house.pwejd

Leah: One of the organisers of the “stand together” events around the country (Brighton)

What is the reason you are protesting?

I don’t think any of the organisers actually saw it as a protest, as such. We wanted to create an event where people could come together, regardless of whether you voted in or out, to stand together in solidarity against the rising incidences of racism and xenophobia since the referendum result last Friday, and to think about and discuss ways forward post – referendum.

What do you think is the mindset of those attending the stand together events?

I cannot speak for everyone who attended the event, but my feeling is that many people at the event, myself included, are feeling worried about the current turmoil in government and about what this and the Brexit result means for our country.

But, having said that, the mood of the crowd on the day, despite the pouring rain, was overwhelmingly welcome and friendly. And I think people were heartened by being able to come together in this way.

What would be your ideal end goal with the stand together organisation?

Myself and the other people who organised the event had never actually met each other until the event yesterday, and only connected via Facebook on Sunday night as we all wanted an event in Brighton like the ones happening all over the country. We organised this event in less than 48 hours!

I think where we go next is really open, but we have had so much positive feedback from the event yesterday and many people are keen to get involved. There is a real appetite for further events. So we have just this evening set up a group on Facebook called Brighton and Hove Stands Together. I think it is up to the people in this group to decide what next!maxresdefault

What would be the worst thing to happen in the future regarding the EU result, and how would you suggest people to combat it?

Wow. I’m really not sure how to answer this question! It could go so many ways. And it really depends on your perspective.

Worst thing for me? Worst thing for the UK? Worst thing for Europe? I think they all have slightly different answers. One of the things I am worried about (there are quite a few things) is that the fact that a lot of the Leave campaign focused on immigration.

Leave winning has, inadvertently, given xenophobes legitimacy and this is incredibly worrying. We have seen a drastic increase in racist and xenophobic attacks across the UK. I also worry that the vacuum in government, created by a PM who has resigned and an imploding Labour party only provides an opportunity for the far right to further their interests.

Our time will tell how this all plays out.