When did you first attend the SODEM protest outside Parliament and why did you come?
Roughly how old are you?
How frequently did you come and when was the last time you attended?
Approx. monthly, but more regularly as big deadlines approached.
How far from Westminster do you live and what was your travelling time?
100 miles. Approx. 2.5 hours.
What’s your favourite memory?
The rally in Parliament Square on the night Theresa May’s deal got voted down for the first time by a huge majority.
Tell me your story
I’ve always felt European and been outward looking. I just hadn’t analysed it until after June 2016. I had penfriends all over the world in my teens. I loved languages at school and went on lots of exchanges. I went on to do European Studies at uni and spent extended periods in Austria, Sweden and Germany.
I didn’t campaign before the referendum and I’ll always regret that. I didn’t realise how important it was or how much it meant to me.
Afterwards I was devastated. Heartbroken. Other friends were cross, but I honestly felt like I had been ripped in two and like part of my identity had been stolen. Doing nothing was not an option.
I had never written to my MP, delivered a political leaflet or stood on a street stall before but soon this became an everyday occurrence. I became very involved in setting up our local group, Warwick District 4 Europe, and devoted a huge part of my life to it. Going to SODEM was an outlet. A chance to spend time with people who felt the way I did. A chance to make new friends. A chance to stand up and be counted. A chance to scream and shout. A chance to laugh and do crazy things I had NEVER envisaged myself doing before 2016. One memorable example was ending up on News at Ten blocking’s Jeremy Corbyn’s car with my placard whilst Steve shouted at him.
I learned so much about myself between 2016 and 2020. I am not the same person I was before. I am stronger, braver, more passionate, more rebellious. I have a whole new circle of treasured friends. I’m sorry that ultimately, we have lost the battle (for now), but I don’t regret one minute of the time I spent fighting for what I believe in.
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