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Analysis

Suffragettes, chartists and gay pride did it. Let’s march!

by Hugo Dixon | 18.10.2018

Crunch time is fast approaching. We may only have weeks to get a People’s Vote. And if we fail to get one, that’s it. So anybody who wants to stop Brexit needs to make the maximum effort now.

That means going on Saturday’s March, telling all your friends to go, giving money to the cause, volunteering as an activist, lobbying one’s MPs and persuading as many of your friends and family why we must stop the madness.

Of course, the battle is tough. The prime minister has the whole weight of government behind her – the ability to set the agenda in the media and Parliament, whips, patronage and so on. We are still the underdogs.

But there is a credible path to stop all this: we can lobby MPs to stop Theresa May agreeing a lousy deal or, even worse, crashing out of the EU with no deal at all. We can then push them to back a People’s Vote, giving the people the option to stay in the EU if they don’t like what’s on offer.

  Join us at the  

  March 23rd | Noon | Park Lane, London  

Given all the factions within the Conservative Party and the difficulty of satisfying them simultaneously, there’s a real chance of getting this. So we need to strain every sinew in the next few weeks – starting on Saturday with the march.

People sometimes doubt whether demonstrating can achieve anything. Well, ask the Chartists. They marched in the 1830s to get political rights for the working classes. Ask the suffragettes. They got women the right to vote. Ask Gay Pride, who started marching in the 1970s against homophobia.

Or look outside the UK. Gandhi’s Salt March prepared the way for Indian independence. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington led to civil rights for black people.

Marching, of course, isn’t the only way to change a society. Gene Sharp, the guru of nonviolent struggle who died earlier this year, identified 198 methods for nonviolent action – and new ones are being invented the whole time. But the priority now is to march.

If you wish to march with InFacts, come to the corner of South Street and Park Lane outside the BMW garage at noon. If you can, make a placard, bring drums, whistles and anything that makes noise, and carry a UK flag.

Edited by Luke Lythgoe

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