UKIP Gloucestershire members were among the thousands who gathered around Westminster on 29th March to protest at the delay to Brexit. Inside the House of Commons MPs were voting down Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement for a third time, while outside, crowds gathered around the two stages in Whitehall and Parliament Square to hear speakers from UKIP and Leave Means Leave.
The atmosphere was part holiday, part sombre, as friendly crowds listened to the speakers, who included Gerard Batten, Lord Pearson, Tommy Robinson, Carl Benjamin (Sargon of Akkad), Janice Atkinson MEP, Stuart Agnew MEP, veterans Richard Inman and Simon Bean MBE, as well as NEC members Liz Jones and Paul Oakley. UKIP’s Alan Craig compered the Whitehall stage with great skill.
High moments for this Ukipper were the sight of the purple flying around the College Green press enclosure (see header photo), and the chance to belt out Jerusalem and the national anthem, hand on heart, with thousands of other patriots.
Although the two stages were organised separately, the crowds moved freely between them, with no sense of ‘them and us’.
In his speech, Gerard Batten compared a political party to an army, which spends a lot of time preparing for the short, intense activity of ‘battle’, i.e. elections. Making Brexit Happen was like the parade which boosts morale and shows onlookers what we are made of. Brexiteers can be proud of a peaceful day’s protesting, and also proud that, as we enter the next phase of the struggle for Brexit, whatever form it may take, the many different groups gathered under the Brexit banner are marching to the same essential tune.