Thousands protest against British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suspending Parliament
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s provocative decision to suspend the British Parliament for a time before the country’s deadline for leaving the European Union came under fire Saturday in London and other cities where protesters took to the streets. Parts of central London were brought to a standstill, as people chanted “Boris Johnson, shame on you,” BBC News reports.
The demonstrations were called ahead of what is expected to be a pitched debate in Parliament this week as Johnson’s opponents scramble to try to pass legislation that would block him from carrying out Brexit on October 31 without an approved withdrawal agreement.An estimated 10,000 people gathered in central London, while others protested in in Belfast, York and others cities to show determination to block a “no deal” Brexit. Protesters in London briefly blocked traffic on a downtown bridge and in Trafalgar Square.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who had urged his supporters to come out in large numbers, told thousands of people at a rally in Glasgow, Scotland that the message to Johnson was simple: “No way. It’s our Parliament.” Corbyn said Johnson, who became prime minister through a vote of Conservative Party members instead of a general election, does not have a mandate for shutting down Parliament or for leaving the EU without a deal in place. Many economists and academics think a no-deal Brexit would lead Britain into a prolonged recession.”It’s not on and we’re not having it,” Corbyn said. Johnson’s decision to shutter Parliament for several weeks when a debate about Brexit plans had been expected galvanized angry crowds of protesters on Saturday. There was also a small group of counter-protesters, marching in support of Johnson, in Westminster, London.Organizers said protests were held in more than 30 locations throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In London, they chanted: “Boris Johnson, shame on you.” Some carried signs saying: “Stop the Coup” in reference to what they say is a move that threatens democracy.