Posted on 12/03/2021Comments Off on JAMES M. BAXTER

When did you first attend the SODEM protest outside Parliament and why did you come? 

I can’t remember when I first attended SODEM, but it was probably to hand out leaflets for an upcoming march or event. And to meet up with some close activist friends and make new ones, of course!

Roughly how old are you?


How frequently did you come and when was the last time you attended?

I came as often as I could, sometimes a few times a week, sometimes once every few weeks. But I haven’t been able to go since I left the UK in January 2019, apart from one occasion on March 2019 when I returned for a few days.

How far from Westminster do you live and what was your travelling time?

I used to live in zone 5, and travelling time was about 1 hour by train and underground (provided there were no delays, of course, which were all too frequent). Mind you, I used to go to SODEM from work as well, which was just over the river.

What’s your favourite memory?

So many to choose from! 🙂   There was one occasion when a group of school children, perhaps about 10 years old, were walking past the Houses of Parliament on the other side of the road, and when they saw us from across the road, they were the ones who started shouting “STOP BREXIT!”. That was amazing, they needed no encouragement from us. And it reminds me why we did this – we did it for them. I am sorry they will be the ones who will have to continue the fight, but I hope we can pass on our knowledge, skills, resources, and support.

Tell me your story

Brexit took away my identity. It took away where home is for me. It made me question the people around me and wonder what they really thought of people like me. And It caused unnecessary uncertainty and anxiety over things that are in the control of people who do not care about us. And all for what? This is not the first time I have had my sense of identity and home taken away from me. I can move on, I have already had to do it once before. I can deal with the anxiety and uncertainty, I’ve had to deal with it most of my life. But why willingly subject millions of other people to it for no benefit or gain? It is such a horrible feeling, I know it all too well. It is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. And now an entire country has been made to experience it. There is no justification for Brexit and the lives it has already ruined and will ruin. But at least I can say I did everything I could to stop it. And yet still I can’t sleep at night, because I always wonder if I could have done more and should still be doing more. After all, Brexit was the symptom of a much bigger problem, which will continue to manifest itself in different ways unless it is dealt with. The fight goes on, and so we must continue. Once your eyes have been opened, you cannot go back to sleep again. This is the burden of conscience.

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