The tide has turned – Hundreds of Thousands march in London

The People’s Vote march on Saturday 23 June 2018 was a great success, receiving prominent national and international media, as hundreds of thousands of marchers descended on London to express their political rights with a peaceful demonstration.

But how many marchers were there in total?  All over social media people are debating the total numbers, with estimates ranging from over 100,000 at the bottom end to over 500,000 at the top end. This article intends to shed some light on this subject.

The #StopBrexit section at the People’s Vote march
Calculating the Size of the March

Crowd sizes of marches are notoriously hard to calculate, chiefly because crowd density varies, and in this case, the calculations are harder than most as side streets all along the route were also packed full of people.

Stop Brexit Ltd supported this march with its own section which formed outside St James Palace. To ensure the safety of our marchers we calculated the crowd capacity of the area well in advance of the march. According to these calculations, the combined capacity of Pall Mall and St James Street was 300,000, with an upper limit of 500,000 allowing spillover into the side streets. Any numbers above that would see backlog into Piccadilly and require the closure of that street.

View of the march down St James Street on Sat 23 June 2018

On the day itself, St James Street filled up, but did not reach it’s maximum capacity, as there was a continuous flow of people overtaking the march line along the pavements . Nevertheless, there were at least 10 abreast in St James Street (excl. people on pavements), with an average of just half meter space per row. This equates to roughly 100 people per 5 m road length. As St James Street is 220m long, this indicates a minimum of 40,000 for that street alone, but possibly as many as 70,000  during peak times. St James Street is notably not shown in the aerial footage taken by helicopters overhead.

For Pall Mall, the aerial footage clearly shows a far higher crowd density than St James Street, with about 20 people abreast. As the street is 644m long, this indicates a minimum of 200k on Pall Mall, which conforms with our pre-march calculations of a holding capacity of 200k, the limits of which were reached.

The aerial footage also shows that St James Square and many side streets were full of protesters as well, suggesting that at least 300k marched that day.

While  500k figure seems a little high, it is not impossible. Indeed many marchers commented that it was far more crowded than the “Stop The War” march in 2003, for which estimates ranged between 750k to 2 million .

Simultaneous Pro-Brexit March fails to attract

One thing that is without dispute is the remarkable difference in size to the pro-Brexit “Independence Day” march which took place on the same day.

The aerial footage of this which is contained in the second half of the drone footage published by RT, clearly shows a march less than 150 m long, with an estimated number of no more than 3000 people at best.

This lack of enthusiasm in itself is an indicator of a waning appetite for Brexit even among its most fervent supporters, that the tide has turned and that the will of the People has changed.

Demand the Option to Remain and Revoke Article 50!

#StopBrexit Night March & All Night Vigil

Two Days of Non-Stop #StopBrexit Protests:
11 and 12 June 2018  – London
(Parliament, Whitehall and the Royal Courts of Justice)

This unique two-day event brings together four grassroots groups and the wider #StopBrexit community. SODEM, No10Vigil, EU Flag Mafia and Stop Brexit Ltd joined forces to co‑ordinate continuous protests in support of two important examinations of sovereignty: the ‘Option to Remain’ debate in Parliament on 11 June and the first hearing of the ‘Article 50 Challenge’ at the Royal Courts of Justice on June 12. – And we now are also using this occasion to protest against how the government has given MPs so little time to consider the EU Withdrawal Bill.
Following protests at parliament in the Hand-held torches will light an evening march and enthusiastic supporters will sleep overnight on the streets with flags and lanterns outside the Royal Courts. The protests have been devised to provide visually compelling scenes of pro-EU support and fresh images to the media. The Metropolitan Police have given permission for all the protest activities as well as important safety advice, which is detailed below.

The protests start on Monday 11th June with an All-Day Demo outside Parliament, an Evening Rally opposite Downing Street, and a Night March from Whitehall to the Royal Courts of Justice. They are followed by an All-Night Vigil as protesters remain at the courts in anticipation of the first hearing of the Article 50 Challenge on Tuesday 12th June, with more activities in support of the case planned outside the court on that day.

 

Schedule of Events
  • 11.00-18.00    Option to Remain Protest at Parliament
  • 18.00-21.00   Special Rally at Richmond Terrace
  • 21.00-22.00  #Stop Brexit Night March
  • 22.00-10.15  All Night Vigil at the courts
  • 10.15-12.15   Article 50 Challenge hearing in court
  • 11.00-18.00   Pies Not Lies Protest at Parliament

Protest outside Parliament

The petition that Parliament’s vote on the Brexit deal must include an OPTION to REMAIN in the EU is scheduled to be debated on Monday 11 June, and Remainers will mark the occasion with an all-day protest to demand that Parliament recognises its own sovereignty!

The first of the protests is led by SODEM with a flag-waving demo at College Green outside parliament from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and everyone is welcome to join in for a few hours, or even just a few minutes.

Special Rally at #No10Vigil

From 6 p.m. onwards the crowd will reassemble on Whitehall at Richmond Terrace directly opposite Downing Street.

Alongside the well-known regular performers of the #No10 Vigil, this will include Liz Webster, the claimant of the Article 50 Challenge, as well as Lords, MPs and representatives of civil society organisations, all moderated by a comedian.

The #StopBrexit Night March

Following the rally, the crowd will assemble for a symbolic march that takes people from the world of politics in Parliament and Whitehall to the world of law – at the Royal Courts of Justice.

The #StopBrexit March will assemble as the sun sets at 21.15 and head off carrying lanterns to illuminate the way through  the twilight along The Embankment by the River Thames to Temple, where it will disburse between 10 and 10.30 p.m. – unless you decide to camp out!

Important safety instruction from the Metropolitan Police: All lights/torches/lanterns must be of the electronic form. In particular, candles are not permitted as the wax can become a slip hazard.

All Night Vigil at Court

To show our determination to stop Brexit, the most dedicated of the protesters will then camp out at the Royal Courts of Justice for an All Night Vigil.  We will sleep rough to show how serious we are, taking turns to hold flags and lanterns.

The first hearing of the Article 50 Challenge is due the following day and many of those who donated to the Crowdjustice case will queue early to try to get a place in the public gallery.

At the same time those campers who stayed out overnight will be relieved by new reinforcements to fly the flag and continue the protest, as the world’s media attention falls on this important case.

Important instruction from the Metropolitan Police: We have been given permission to sleep outside the Royal Courts provided that we do not erect tents, so please do not bring this item.

Why We Are Protesting

In British representative democracy, parliament is sovereign, which means that government cannot do whatever it pleases.

If it wants to make important changes , then it must seek approval for its proposals from a majority of MPs in the House of Commons, and the MPs should have the right to reject these proposals outright if they decide they are not in the national interest.

The government’s response to the petition was an overstep of its mandate when it said:

“The British people voted to leave and the Government will implement their decision.The vote on the final deal will give Parliament the choice to accept the agreement or leave the EU with no agreement”

If Brexit is all about upholding British Sovereignty and democracy, then MPs surely must be given the choice of all possible options to decide what is in the interest of the country?

Similarly, the Article 50 Challenge argues that the government’s submission of the Article 50 notification also did not take parliamentary sovereignty into account.  Whilst Parliament gave assent for the government to submit a notification of intent of the UK decision to leave the EU, this intent has never been ratified by Parliament. Article 50 requires that it be submitted in accordance with the constitution of the country, and as parliament did not hold a vote on leaving the EU, then  Article 50 was arguably submitted unconstitutionally. If this is so, then Article 50 is not just fully revocable, but possibly unlawful – in which case it ought to be revoked immediately. #StopBrexit

So join us as we step up the pressure with two days of non-stop protests! Come to at least one of the events on June 11th or 12th, or – if you have the stamina – stay for the whole shebang. You will never have pulled a more important all nighter! #StopBrexit

>>SUPPORT THE CROWDFUNDER!

 

March on Parliament to #StopBrexit

CALL TO ACTION: Join us on 23 June in London to demand #StopBrexit!

On Saturday 23 June, a coalition of pro-EU groups is organising a march on parliament to demand a People’s Vote on whatever “Brexit deal” the government proposes on its future relationship with the EU.

The march is being organised by the Peoples Vote coalition which includes European Movement, Britain For Europe  and Open Britain. It is further supported  by other groups such as  Our Future Our Choice and Best for Britain – and we are now lending our support to this march too.

At StopBrexit Ltd we feel very strongly that this People’s Vote must include an option to cancel Brexit altogether and Remain as full members of the European Union –  and we are delighted to announce that we will have our very own #StopBrexit column at the march, marching behind a #StopBrexit banner.

We call on all those who feel as strongly as we do to come to London on 23 June and join us marching under the #StopBrexit banner.

Let’s make our message loud and clear!

#STOPBREXIT!

If you wish to join us, then please sign up both at the official march page AND on the eventbrite page for our column.

Those on facebook are also encouraged to sign up on our facebook event page and share it as widely as possible.

Tell your family, friends and colleagues – and make sure you don’t miss it. Two years have passed since the country divided over Brexit, and we’ve all learnt a lot since. Thankfully democracy is an ongoing process – it’s time to demand a Peoples’ Vote with a right to remain!