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?
How far from Westminster do you live and what was your travelling time?
What’s your favourite memory?
Tell me your story
Referendum day 2016 was a terrible day for all of us. I at least though won a consolation prize. I had placed a small bet on the result and won fifty pounds. Enough to buy a few drinks, but not enough to come anywhere near to drowning my sorrows.
In August I met up with Louise Brown and a few others in a city centre pub. Louise wanted to organise a Stop Brexit rally in Newcastle and had asked for sponsors to support her forgoing any alcoholic refreshment for a month. That was the first meeting of North East for Europe.
Over the last few years Janet and I have taken our protest to the streets of Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham and various places in the North East. I greeted Theresa May’s entire cabinet as they got off the train in Newcastle for a show piece “pretend to love the north east” grand tour. We’d previously protested in North Shields when Theresa May visited in 2017 and were there in Westminster as her Jaguar sneaked out of the back gates of parliament after her last appearance in the House of Commons as Prime Minister.
Our protesting hasn’t just been aimed at the Conservative party. We were part of the SODEM demonstration at the Labour Party conference in Liverpool in 2018, picketed at the Labour Party HQ in Victoria Street as the party cooked up another fudged policy in Brexit in 2019 and we left a red rose and EU flag on Jeremy Corbyn’s front gate as a gentle (and unsuccessful) reminder that many existing and potential Labour supporters were Remainers.
We’ve remonstrated with and cajoled LibDem Peers and MPs over their failure to do a deal with Labour in 2019 when the last parliament could have replaced Johnson’s government. We paid a visit to the Queen at Balmoral on the day she agreed to dissolve parliament. We also flew our flags in Brussels, telling Michel Barnier that Johnson was a liar and a cheat and that he shouldn’t trust him. We love Europe and are angry more even more than we are sad, but we have made some lovely friends at SODEM and elsewhere over the last few years.
Thank you everyone. xx
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