Hundreds gather in St Albans to protest prorogation of Parliament

PUBLISHED: 15:06 02 September 2019 | UPDATED: 15:06 02 September 2019

About 450 people turned up for the anti-Parliament suspension protest at St Albans Clock Tower. Picture: Anna Bullen

About 450 people turned up for the anti-Parliament suspension protest at St Albans Clock Tower. Picture: Anna Bullen

Archant

Hundreds of protesters assembled in St Albans city centre last weekend to demonstrate against the prorogation of Parliament.

Cllr Malachy Pakenham, speaking at the St Albans protest of the suspension of Parliament. Picture: Fiona McAndrewCllr Malachy Pakenham, speaking at the St Albans protest of the suspension of Parliament. Picture: Fiona McAndrew

There were 450 people outside St Albans Clock Tower on Saturday declaring their "outrage" that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will suspend Parliament from sometime between September 9 and 12 until October 14.

It was organised by St Albans for Europe, a pro-EU campaign group in the district, which believes Mr Johnson's intention is to force through a No Deal Brexit on October 31.

Chair and secretary of the group, Fiona McAndrew and Helen Campbell respectively, have issued a joint statement.

They said the protest showed St Albans "will not stand by and watch this appalling anti-democratic move"

About 450 people turned up for the anti-Parliament suspension protest at St Albans Clock Tower. Picture:Fiona McAndrewAbout 450 people turned up for the anti-Parliament suspension protest at St Albans Clock Tower. Picture:Fiona McAndrew

"The hard No Deal Brexit that Johnson is willing to inflict on us will damage the UK for decades, and shutting down Parliament in order to try and force it is the act of a dictator and a liar," they said.

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Both scheduled and spontaneous speakers came forward at the event to address the crowd, many of whom were wearing 'defend democracy' sashes.

Participants also wrote messages in a Book of Condolence for the Loss of Democracy in Britain.

About 450 people turned up for the anti-Parliament suspension protest at St Albans Clock Tower. Picture:Andy NormanAbout 450 people turned up for the anti-Parliament suspension protest at St Albans Clock Tower. Picture:Andy Norman

St Albans City and District Council Labour councillor Malachy Pakenham said the crowd was "united in outrage and concern".

Prospective Parliamentary candidate for the St Albans Liberal Democrats, Daisy Cooper, described the government as "nasty" and Mr Johnson as a "dangerous man".

She said: "They've put a sledge hammer through our democracy, silencing our elected representatives, threatening food and medicine shortages and pushing for a destructive Brexit at any cost."

St Albans for Europe activist and local Conservative party member, Paul Verity, said: "This is a very dangerous precedent.

About 450 people turned up for the anti-Parliament suspension protest at St Albans Clock Tower. Picture:Liz NeedhamAbout 450 people turned up for the anti-Parliament suspension protest at St Albans Clock Tower. Picture:Liz Needham

"It may be considered by some to be a clever negotiation ploy but it is highly irresponsible with huge unknown consequences."

Fifteen-year-old Kat added: "This is my future, and the future of my generation that they are ruining. We will not forgive them."

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