IN PICTURES: Protesters turn out to ‘defend democracy’ in emergency protests
- Credit: AP
Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of London and Edinburgh to defend democracy and fight against newly-announced plans from the prime minister to prorogue parliament to deliver Brexit.
The London event has been organised by the left-wing Another Europe is Possible group, with the European event organised by the European Movement.
Supporters include the Green Party deputy leader Amelia Womack, Scientists4EU's Mike Galsworthy, left-wing commentator Owen Jones and anti-Brexit youth groups For Our Future's Sake and Our Future Our Choice.
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott told protesters outside parliament: "At the end of the day, it doesn't exactly matter where you stand on Brexit, it matters where you stand on Tory prime ministers closing parliament because they don't want to give people a say.
"If this was a Latin American country it would be called a coup, complete with American president publicly backing it. We have to stop this coup, not just for parliament but for this country's future and for our children's future."
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Shadow chancellor John McDonnell told the protesters: "The message is simple, whatever side you're on in the debate around Brexit, the message is absolutely simple here, we're supposed to be a democracy, and that democracy is meant to be a parliamentary democracy.
"They have taken away the decision. We think the decision that Boris Johnson is frightened of is Parliament itself taking control of the agenda next week and they're not allowing us the opportunity.
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"By closing parliament down, it effectively closes democracy down in this country."
He began by telling demonstrators similar protests were under way in Manchester, with protesters using umbrellas as a nod to the demonstrations in Hong Kong.
"It is not too much to ask simply to allow parliament to sit, debate and vote. I warn Boris Johnson this - you've unleashed a force which you do not understand. From that elite sense of entitlement, you do not understand the power of the people."
Durin the protests in Westminster crowds blocked traffic and some staged a sit-down protest in Parliament Square chanting "stop the coup" while others headed for Downing Street.
Other events taking place around the United Kingdom included protests in Manchester, Edinburgh, Milton Keynes, Tavistock, Cardiff, Durham, Cambridge, Chester and Brighton.
Find out about more more forthcoming protests taking place by visiting our event listings here.
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