‘Hundreds of thousands’ expected at #stopthecoup protests across the UK
PUBLISHED: 13:52 30 August 2019 | UPDATED: 14:08 30 August 2019
Scores of protests are taking place over the weekend against Boris Johnson’s plan to prorogue parliament with ‘hundreds of thousands’ expected to attend.
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At least 32 events from anti-Brexit campaign group Another Europe Is Possible will take place in England, Scotland and Wales. and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has urged MPs to join the demonstrations and oppose the shutdown of parliament.
In a letter to the Parliamentary Labour Party, he said: "I am addressing a major rally in Salford on Monday. But there are also public protests across the country this Saturday, there will be a rally in Parliament Square on Tuesday evening, and I encourage Labour MPs to be present and to share our message."
Labour MP Clive Lewis also called for people to support the #StopTheCoup protests.
The shadow treasury minister said: "The right to peacefully protest and show your displeasure and anger is a long-held British tradition.
"No one is calling for riots or aggravation. This is about people peacefully demonstrating.
"A peaceful protest can be marching, but it can also be sitting down in roads."
Further mass demonstrations, organised by the People's Assembly Against Austerity, are planned to take place on Tuesday to coincide with MPs returning to Westminster.
The calls for protests come as a petition against prime minister Boris Johnson's plan to suspend Parliament racked up more than 1.5 million signatures as of Friday morning, and follows multiple protests in London, Edinburgh and other cities on Wednesday, which took place within hours of Mr Johnson announcing his plans.
Another Europe is Possible group organiser Michael Chessum said he expects to see "hundreds of thousands" of people taking part in the demonstrations across the UK on Saturday.
He said: "Ultimately we are not going to persuade Boris Johnson to change his mind through some intellectual exercise.
"This process needs to force the government to change its course."
Chessum added that "disruption is the only form of leverage protesters can rely on".
It comes as Laura Parker, Momentum's national co-ordinator, said she would consider an occupation of parliament as the group stepped up its campaign.
The Mirror quotes her as saying: "Our message to Johnson is this: if you steal our democracy, we'll shut down the streets.
"There are thousands of us who will join an occupation of parliament and block the roads before we let Johnson close the doors on democracy."
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