Posted on 18/03/2021Comments Off on PETER FERNS

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

October 2018

Roughly how old are you?

69 years

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

Every time that Parliament sat for most weeks of the year Monday to Thursday.

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

1 hour travel time.

What’s your favourite memory?

Tell me your story

I came to this country as a migrant myself in the 1950s and faced overt racism and xenophobia in the 1960s and 70s. Having been in public services and worked for social care charities for over 40 years, I know that people coming to this country can make valuable contributions and enrich our society immeasurably. Unfortunately Brexit has taken us backwards in terms of racism and xenophobia by promoting a bigoted form of British nationalism. One of my sons happily lives and works in Berlin, so I know first-hand how valuable freedom of movement is in the EU and I feel sorry for the younger people who will be denied this great opportunity.

I feel strongly that the way ahead for us as a diverse and united country is to make international alliances both socially and culturally and to grow our economies collectively in an increasingly interconnected world. Being part of a trading block such as the EU and subscribing to shared European values, reduces the risk of conflicts between nation states and strengthens the bonds of friendship and collaboration between member states. Tackling the complex worldwide challenges of increasing prosperity, reducing conflict, tackling climate change and international problems such as immigration due to wars can only be tackled effectively through international cooperation. 

It was tough sometimes standing in the rain and cold outside of Parliament day after day but it was so good to be amongst a bunch of friends who laughed, joked and had some fascinating conversations between ourselves and many passers-by. It was a real honour to be with Steve and the rest of a diverse group of dedicated people committed to improving life in this country for everyone. It was an act of true love for the country and its people.

Leaving the EU was a really bad decision for this country and I felt that I must stand up for the values that I believe in through joining SODEM in their efforts to oppose Brexit, promote the benefits of the EU and hold our government to account for its disastrous management of Brexit. I will continue to support SODEM until the UK re-joins the EU most probably after a damaging period of us being in a cultural and economic wilderness. Our fight for the future prosperity of the UK has just begun and it is imperative that we create a better society based on equality, respect and opportunities for all.

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