To finally have a voice felt wonderful.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as I’ve never been on a march before. In the days up to The People’s Vote March, I had to persuade myself to go. Would it really make a difference? Am I wasting my time? My reluctance slowly turned to excitement as I saw how crowded my morning train was (yes it’s actually true – many people travelled from all over the UK to attend) with people holding banners and EU flags. It was a prelude of things to come. I hadn’t made a banner, but had a copy of The New European with me, with a handy Stop Brexit double page banner in the middle of the paper for march goers. I was ready to go!
The sight that greeted us at Hyde Park Corner was something to behold. A stream of people, from all directions, were congregating in the glorious sunshine. I saw people from all walks of life, of all ages, from babies in pushchairs to the elderly with walking aids. The diversity of people, ages, professions and nationalities was astonishing. Students, parents, children, grandparents, nurses, teachers, scientists, lawyers, accountants, builders, grandparents, LGBT campaigners and environmentalists – these are just some of the groups of people I came across. My favourite banner that captured the mood best was poignant in its simplicity: “Insieme piu forte”; stronger together.
It was a heart-warming and uplifting march. Everyone was smiling, chatting, laughing. All 700,000 of us. I didn’t hear a cross word or witness any arguments during the whole four hours I was on the march. Speakers from across the political spectrum came together speaking one language. Such a delightful contrast to the divisive and hate-filled rhetoric of leavers that remainers have been subject to since June 2016.
In the march I found my people and my voice – it was exhilarating. What the march taught me is that by working together, we are far greater than the sum of our parts. Let’s hope our message, a demand for a People’s Vote, will be heard by the government and by MPs, who at this critical moment hold our future in their hands. And even if there is no change, I will continue to do my bit, no matter how small, (even if it’s just writing blog posts) to fight the madness that is Brexit.
The activist in me has awakened. See you on the next march!
Ines Respini Jones