Posted on 15/04/2021Comments Off on JUNE AUSTIN

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

January 2019. I wanted to be be among like-minded individuals, make my voice heard and feel like I was making a difference. 

Roughly how old are you?


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

Not nearly as often as I would have liked! On average about every 4-6 weeks. Covid of course has made it all extremely difficult and my job in social care working with adults with learning disabilities meant that for the most part it was just too risky. The last time I attended then was September 2020. I hope to be back though when Covid is all over!    

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

I live and work in Surrey. The travelling time including the walk from Waterloo is about an hour and a half.  I work as cleaning supervisor in social care and so start work much earlier than most people. I would normally then take a half day off to go which for me meant finishing work between 10.30 and 11am. I got there in time for lunch and would normally leave between 6 and 7pm.     

What’s your favourite memory?

So many! The best for me though has to be the sing off between North Yorkshire and Cornwall. The six o’clock shouts were always good and of course the day that Boris Johnson became Prime Minister for the first time in July 2019 when we stood opposite the gates to No.10 booing. I will never forget the Super SODEM as well on January 30th 2020 the day before we left the EU, standing outside Parliament singing with all our flags lit up as the busses drove past.

Tell me your story

Like a lot of people, before the vote I took most of the benefits of EU membership for granted and didn’t think much about it. It was obvious though to me that we would always be better off in, as no nation is an island and you need to cooperate with others, especially when they’re your neighbours. I work in social care with people from all over the world and see this as a very positive thing. It also meant that I was and am very aware of the damage this would and has done to the EU nationals whom I work with, many of whom are more than just work colleagues but also friends. To me then it became quite personal. It felt like an act of national self-harm which was completely irrational. Having gone on all the marches, signed petitions, written to my MP, called LBC and done many other things none of it seemed to make a difference, so I felt that if this didn’t help then standing outside Parliament with a big flag and shouting just might! It didn’t in the end, but it made me feel better and I made some great friends.

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