Home > Politics & social justice > ‘Remain, reform and revolutionise’: Cardiff protesters march against Brexit

‘Remain, reform and revolutionise’: Cardiff protesters march against Brexit

Hundreds of protestors marched through Cardiff yesterday. They sent out a clear message that reform within Europe, not Brexit, was the change the UK needed, and encouraged Cardiff to rally in the weeks leading up to 29 March.

“We can’t be wrenched out of Europe, we are European to our core,” says Adam Price, leader of Plaid Cymru. (Image: Josh Lowe)

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Cardiff city centre yesterday afternoon before marching in a “mass opposition to Brexit” organised by group Cardiff for Europe.

With less than a month left until the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, the protesters sang and chanted their way along the Hayes and Queen Street before gathering to hear speeches on Churchill Way.

Speakers including Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price and local MPs gave rousing speeches for remaining in the EU and laid out a vision for another referendum campaign.

“The European Union is the biggest and most successful peace project in history,” says Sheila Smith, an organiser with Cardiff for Europe. (Image: Josh Lowe)

“Brexit won last time because they presented themselves as the change project,” said Adam Price, “They weren’t of course, they were liars and cheats and charlatans… We know that now.

“Last time, in some ways, they had the clearer story, but I think we’ve found our story… I think we’ve found our passion. Because our message is not a message of anger and of hate, but of hope.”

There was a common thread throughout the day, that the voice of a future Remain campaign must be drastically different from last time and inspire the same levels of passion that Leave achieved in 2016.

Discussing the future voice of Remain, Adam Price continued, “Remain, and I say this respectfully, is probably not the best slogan for those living in poverty… We’ve got to remain, reform and revolutionise.”

Engaging with those who felt forgotten and alienated the last time around was something echoed by other speakers. Perhaps inevitably, the subject of alleged falsehoods spread by the Leave campaign also emerged.

“If you voted Leave, did you really think that three years on we would be stockpiling medicines?” said Jo Stevens, Labour MP for Cardiff Central, “That we’d be worried that cancer patients wouldn’t be able to get radiation and isotope treatment?”

“Things have changed. We know now what we didn’t know in 2016,” said Stevens, “Please make those arguments to people who are wavering and saying they’re bored.”

Her colleague, Anna McMorrin, Labour MP for Cardiff North, said, “I hope you keep talking to your friends, talking to your colleagues… We need that referendum. And we will win it.”

The positivity of the crowd was on clear display, as was their passion for Europe.

“The European Union is the biggest and most successful peace project in history,” said Sheila Smith, an organiser with Cardiff for Europe, “Working together, collaborating, co-operating – I believe in those sorts of values. That’s where my vote came from, and where my passion comes from.”

“We can’t be wrenched out of Europe, we are European to our core,” said Adam Price, to which the crowd erupted in cheers.

Jo Stevens, Labour MP for Cardiff Central addresses hundreds of protesters on Churchill Way. In her constituency, over 70% of those polled say they want a People’s Vote. (Image: Josh Lowe)

Those who spoke were eager to encourage as many people as possible to get involved in the campaign for another referendum.

“Try and link up with your local Europe campaign group,” said Sheila Smith, “It feels better to be active than to be sitting at home feeling frustrated, angry and depressed about what’s going on. Do something!”

Cardiff for Europe are heading to London on 23 March to join the national People’s Vote March, and you can find out more about what they’re up to here.

Joshua Lowe and Artemis Giannakopoulou contributed to this report.

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