‘Just the Beginning’: Massive Protests in UK as Thousands Flood Streets to #StoptheCoup

Guardian News / YouTube 39 Stop the coup 39 nationwide 1567076872.jpg...
Guardian News / YouTube

Many thousands of people took to the streets across the United Kingdom on Wednesday evening—including crowds in central London who surrounded the Palace of Westminster—demanding the end of efforts to suspend Parliament launched earlier in the day by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

As the thousands of protesters assembled in the streets in numerous cities, an online petition calling for a stop of the temporary prorogation of Parliament had gathered more than 1.1 million signatures, ten times the necessary amount to trigger an official response from MPs.

As this video dispatch from the Guardian newspaper shows, thousands of people flooded the streets outside Westminster—shouting “Stop the Coup! Stop the Coup!” and “Boris Johnson! Out, out, out!—as they denounced the move by the Tory-led government and the subservience of Queen Elizabeth who approved the proroguing of Parliament at Johnson’s request:

“We’re here because our democracy wasn’t given to us as an act of generosity or charity by the people on top,” said Owen Jones, a progressive activist and columnist for the newspaper, speaking as a protest participant. “It was won through the struggle and sacrifice of our ancestors and it’s not for an unelected prime minister to shut down the elected parliament to ram through a no-deal [Brexit] for which he has no democratic mandate.”

Jones repeated and expanded on the point in subsequent social media videos—in which he accused Johnson of starting a “war with our democracy”—and in more dramatic fashion during a speech given to the large gathered crowd:

Paul Mason—another journalist, book author, and political activist—was also at the demonstrations in London and said he was now calling for people across the U.K. to join those in the streets to put their bodies on the line against the orchestrated overthrow of the British government by Johnson and other right-wing elites.

Asked about his message for U.S. President Donald Trump, who earlier in the day had weighed in on the situation by backing Johnson’s effort, Mason did not hold back.

“Fuck Trump is my response. Full stop. Exclamation mark. Underlined,” Mason said. “The guy doesn’t understand democracy. What right has he to dictate the outcome of a British political crisis.”

Members of the opposition Labour Party—including a letter sent to the Queen by Leader Jeremy Corbyn requesting a meeting to discuss her approval of the proroguing of Parliament—said they would fight back against the anti-democratic “smash and grab” moves by Johnson with all their might.

“If Boris Johnson thinks he can suspend parliament and force through no-deal he has another think coming,” said Labour MP Clive Lewis, who serves as the shadow government’s Treasury minister. “We will build a mass movement to save democracy, and everyone who wants to stop this travesty must get ready to mobilize, demonstrate and resist. MPs, too, will have to play their part. They’ll have to drag me out of the chamber.”

Even after night fell in London, huge crowds refused to leave the city’s streets as the demonstration turned into an impromptu sit-in:

Deputy leader of the nation’s Green Party, Amelia Womack, was also in the crowd. “We’re here to stand against Boris Johnson’s coup,” she told the Guardian. “We have a representative democracy and by suspending parliament, you are removing people’s democratic right.”

While many on the left in the UK had warned that Johnson might take such drastic measures to push through a no deal Brexit regardless of the consequences or his mandate, Womack said she “didn’t think he would make such a brutal move that showed such a disregard for our parliamentary procedures.”

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5 Comments on "‘Just the Beginning’: Massive Protests in UK as Thousands Flood Streets to #StoptheCoup"

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DHG
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This is what it should look like here in the US until Trump is gone, instead barely a whimper of protest in the streets…..

Robert Burnett
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Robert Burnett

Exactly!!! We need to do like they did in the 60’s. At that time they thought the hippies were trouble makers, anti -American but they loved their country enough to fight for it. We need to get off of our lazy rears and march in the streets, showing Trump and the GOP traitors we are mad as hell and not taking it anymore.

Ron Manicom
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Ron Manicom
Well there have been protests and marches (the womans March and the march calling for an assault weapons ban and better monitoring of gun sales for example), but they are meaningless, what is needed unfortunately is to threaten the powers that be, however it has to be done in such a way that it is within the law, for example the congress and the white house has to be surrounded and isolated, there is a feeling of fear in the United States (home of the Brave?) which has to be overcome, look at what happened during the presidents inauguration parade… Read more »
Mik
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The UK is letting their foolish sense of superiority blind them to the reality that Russia is using British nationalist propaganda split EU/NATO alliances so it can roll back into all of the countries it oppressed under the USSR; and possibly more. I have never expected to see such stupidity in my lifetime… But this is on the same level that preceeded WW2. The Bristish people need to face up to the reality that Tony Blair, with GW Bush criminality, brought the destruction of Iraq and the turmoil that followed is on them, and us. All of the immigrants flooding… Read more »
Ron Manicom
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Ron Manicom

I don’t think it is a sense of superiority as much as a sense of complacency, same as in 1938, now with Johnson they have been forced to come out of this sense or what has been gained will be taken away.