When did you first attend the SODEM protest outside Parliament and why did you come?
Late 2017. I was very much opposed to Brexit and felt protests months apart weren’t working. The idea of a standing protest thus appealed to me to help fight back.
Roughly how old are you?
34. I had not long turned 30 around the time of the referendum.
How frequently did you come and when was the last time you attended?
I tried to be available at the very least for key decisive days as I was having to maintain a full-time job from which I funded my protesting. I last visited December 2020 when Barnier was in London finalising the Brexit deal.
How far from Westminster do you live and what was your travelling time?
It was a 2 hour journey, primarily by train. I was fortunate that I lived somewhere close to London, meaning I felt an increased responsibility to attend for all those who wanted to attend regularly but lived too far away.
What’s your favourite memory?
Although I’m fairly infamous for not liking pageantry, I recall a day where we were absolutely besieged by the far right. Suddenly, a choir emerged singing a powerful rendition of Ode to Joy and the far right fled. It was a genuine cavalry moment.
Aside from that, one morning I was protesting relatively alone as the others present were setting up. A class of European students appeared to take photos of Parliament. Suddenly, their teacher grabbed my arm and said “Please, be in our photo!”. Even though we lost the fight against Brexit, I’m proud we at least were able to show people from around the world that not everyone here supports it. That might yet deliver salvation.
Tell me your story
I’m from working class roots, a millennial who graduated into the 2008 recession. Right as I was making a comeback and preparing to leave a terrible job for a switch to a more passion led career, Brexit happened. Although it destroyed my plans, my reasons for fighting it were because I could always see it was about unleashing fascism in the UK. I chose to fight to protect millions, especially immigrants who had made a life here, for they were being heavily scapegoated.
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