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Anti-Brexit campaigners to stage biggest protest march

IANS | London |


Anti-Brexit campaigners are hoping to organise the biggest protest march in modern British history, drawing fresh inspiration from the success of anti-Trump rallies around the world, the media reported on Saturday.

"Unite for Europe", an umbrella group of 'Remain' campaigners, plans to march outside parliament on March 25 – the last weekend before Prime Minister Theresa May's self-imposed deadline for launching the process of leaving the European Union (EU) – hoping to attract a crowd in excess of three-quarters of a million people, the Guardian reported.

"I don't think we were ever under the illusion that the march would stop article 50 (official process of exiting the EU) being triggered; it is more about demonstrating the strength of opinion against Brexit," said Peter French of Unite for Europe.

"This fast-track bill will create a lot of emotion and anger in the country that things are being rushed through."

A march against the Iraq war in 2003 is thought to be the largest in modern times, attracting 750,000 people, according to police estimates and up to 2 million according to organisers. 

In contrast, the largest anti-Brexit march to date attracted an estimated crowd of 50,000 on July 2, shortly after the EU referendum on June 26, and there have been two smaller marches in August and September.

"The idea is to try to make this the biggest march the capital, or country, has ever seen," said French, who pointed out that there were 6 or 7 million voters in London alone, some 70 per cent of whom had opposed Brexit.

"Right now, Theresa May is focused entirely on the 52 per cent and forgetting the 48 per cent," the Guardian quoted French as saying.

After the Supreme Court ruled this week that MPs must be consulted first, the government has announced a swift timetable, with just five days of debate scheduled in the Commons and 137 words of proposed legislation.

Organisers are working with the Metropolitan police, Greater London Authority and Westminster council on a route for the march that will likely start in Park Lane before heading to Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square and end in Parliament Square with a series of as-yet unannounced speakers.