Londoners spill onto roads to protest Brexit vote

A sea of colorful heads marched against the Brexit vote, but the mostly young protesters remain uncertain if their show of numbers will actually make a difference.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Organisers indicate this is just one of many protests planned to pressure people to reconsider the result of the Brexit referendum.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through central London on Saturday in a raucous and colorful protest against last week's referendum result in favour of the UK leaving the European Union.

The demonstrators were nearly all young adults. Many were draped in EU flags while others waved banners bearing slogans such as "I'm with EU" or simply "Wrexit."

They chanted "what do we want to do? Stay in the EU," as they headed towards the Westminster political district to a soundtrack of songs including Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" and Whitney Houston's "I Will always Love You."

The demonstration in favour of remaining in the EU included mostly young people who feel they have the right to voice their concerns.

The catchy gibes and slogans reflected the presence of a large number of young people who want to stay in EU and feel cheated by the out vote.

And it was apparent that people at the march had put in a lot of thought to what they wanted to say...

Buses full of tourists cheered and cars tooted their horns in support – although one van driver, invited to honk by the crowd, shouted "I'm for out."

Cries of "shame on you" rang out as the march halted briefly outside the Downing Street office of Prime Minister David Cameron, who had himself announced the referendum in 2013.

Many taking part said they had been taken aback by the result of the vote.

"I was genuinely stunned on the morning after the vote," said Nathaniel Samson, 25, from Hertfordshire, north of London.

"I feel deeply uncertain about my future," he added. "I'm on the march to voice my discontentment. I am accepting the result, but it's to show that we won't accept it quietly."

London voted 60 percent in favor of remaining in the EU in last Thursday's referendum, with a large majority of younger voters in favour of staying in the bloc, but the overall result was 51.9 percent in favor of leaving.

The vote to leave has prompted a battle within the ruling Conservative party over who will succeed Prime Minister David Cameron, who said he would resign after the result.

The main opposition Labour Party has also turned on itself, with most of its lawmakers in parliament having voted to withdraw support for party leader Jeremy Corbyn after what they saw as his lackluster contribution to the "Remain" referendum campaign.

But as people in the March for Europe chanted against the Brexit vote, others took to social media to remind them that democracy was all about respecting the will of the majority. 

Some emohasised the fact that the majority of Brits voted to leave the EU despite the Remain side having the advantage of wide political, business and media support.

But Italian Pamela Zoni, 34, who has lived in Britain for 6 years, said she was very upset and having second thoughts about taking British citizenship.

"I would like a second referendum," she said. "The first campaign was based on lies, and the margin was so tight: it was not a fair result."

The demonstration ended peacefully with a rally outside parliament. No police estimate of the turnout was immediately available but one organiser put the number of attendees at 50,000.

TRTWorld, Reuters