On Saturday, 22 October 2022, 25 of us and two dogs travelled on the coach organised by Cheltenham for Europe from Cheltenham to London to join the National Rejoin March (NRM). A couple from Stroud, along with their excited dog, boarded the coach in Burford. Our team included some people who had participated in previous pro-EU marches in London.
We arrived in London to surprisingly good weather and in good time. We were dropped off by the coach driver (a Remain supporter) at Gloucester Place and proceeded to Wellington Arch where we had planned to meet with other Gloucestershire groups.
The march started promptly at 1pm from Park Lane. We were expecting far fewer marchers than we saw on previous marches, but we were pleasantly surprised by the numbers and the representation from across the country. People we met had come from Dorset, Devon, Canterbury, Leeds, Reigate and many other places. While it is always hard to figure out the numbers on occasions such as this, estimates varied from 20,000 to 50,000.
The speeches which commenced at 3pm at Parliament Square were impressive, with the German MEP speaker Terry Reintke and the Belgian speaker Guy Verhofstadt reminding us emotionally that the EU wants us back and that the door to rejoining remains open. Guy Verhofstadt said Brexit has only strengthened the resolve of the remaining 27 EU countries to stay together after seeing the mess that Brexit has caused to the UK.
The speeches were still going on when, unfortunately, we had to head back to board the coach at 4:30pm for our journey home. The highlight of the journey back was the entertaining reading of a satirical short story called ‘Animal World’ written by William Lewis (one of the marshals on the coach) about three lions full of self-importance named – Mojo, Bodjo and Farrago – who decide to leave the animal world. The story is now posted on the Cheltenham for Europe website.
Ed: Update 29 October 2022.
Here are some more photos from Martin Griffiths of Tewkesbury for Europe.
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