When did you first attend the SODEM protest outside Parliament and why did you come?
I first came to SODEM around Nov/Dec 2018. Why: Disgust that the government was trashing the country, incomprehension and frustration that people were just letting them get away with it. Sickened at the attitude towards Ireland/NI and willingness to discard the GFA in pursuit of a ludicrous, undefined fantasy Brexit. Turned up on spec, not realising there was a bunch of such dedicated regular protestors at Westminster, so was delighted & heartened to find SODEM.
Roughly how old are you?
Forties. Let’s not be too specific, lol.
How frequently did you come and when was the last time you attended?
I came every Wednesday afternoon. Started work as early as possible in order to be able to spend a few hours at SODEM afterwards. I also used annual leave to top up my attendance. Last attended: 9 December, 2020.
How far from Westminster do you live and what was your travelling time?
I live in Sussex, about 40 miles away. 1 hr 50 mins travelling time.
What’s your favourite memory?
Valentine’s Day 2019. Booked a half-day from work. It was sunny and warm and the atmosphere was festive. Was surprised to find someone else there with an Irish flag tied around their shoulders. This turned out to be Peter Benson. We discovered we were from the same part of Ireland, had grown up three miles apart and were both trying to draw attention to the GFA & so became the Irish protest contingent at Westminster. Lovely memories in general of SODEM.
Tell me your story
I always left feeling better and more hopeful, because the dedication and hard work of the regulars was humbling: people who had put their lives, businesses and retirements on hold for the sake of their country. For their children and grandchildren. People who stood there day in, day out, despite the relentless verbal abuse and, on occasion, physical assault. Proud to be associated with SODEM, even in my very small, part-time way.
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