Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker films video message as thousands join anti-Brexit rally

Remain supporters demonstrate during the March for Europe rally in Parliament Square, London, to show their support for the European Union in the wake of Brexit. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

Remain supporters demonstrate during the March for Europe rally in Parliament Square, London, to show their support for the European Union in the wake of Brexit. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

3
Have your say

Musician Jarvis Cocker has recorded a video message for the estimated 30,000 people who took part in the March for Europe rally in London.

In the message filmed in a recording studio in Paris, the Sheffield-born Pulp frontman held up a world map and said: “You cannot deny geography. The UK is in Europe. How can you take it out?”

The March for Europe started from Hyde Park and weaved through central London, culminating with speeches at Parliament Square.

TV presenter and journalist Billie Piper said: “We’re all entitled to an opinion. We’re all angry and we’re all scared and, quite frankly, some of us are ashamed.

“We have been eager to show the rest of the world that the decision does not speak for all of us.

“The horrific violence and terrifying hate crime might have happened on British soil but those attitudes are not British.

“I worry, in the throes of frustration and disgust, that some of us have stooped as low as the people that we’re angry at.

“If you judge people for their backgrounds or make sweeping generalisations about people we don’t understand then we’re nothing but hypocrites.”

From the stage set up in Parliament Square, Labour peer Michael Cashman told the crowd: “No more lies, no more hate.

“We need to uphold the values of democracy and inclusiveness which are at the heart of the EU and this country.

“We must not let right-wing, narrow-minded nationalism nor xenophobia define us. We are better than that.

“I honestly believe the disinformation in this campaign has undermined our democracy. Decent British values are also the values of the European Union.”

Demonstrators wearing EU flags as capes and with home-made banners saying “Bremain” and “We Love EU” joined the event, co-organised on social media by comedian and satirist Mark Thomas to address “anger, frustration and need to do something”.

Mr Thomas said: “We would accept the result of the referendum if it was fought on a level playing field.

“But it was full of misinformation and people need to do something with their frustration.”

William Dramard, 36, moved from France to Manchester to study 16 years ago.

A home-made placard represented his French roots, his Finnish wife, their English bull mastiff dog and the European Union.

The engineer, who travelled to London alone for the rally, said: “My family exists thanks to the EU.

“One of the reasons my wife and I came here was because of freedom of movement. We met here and started our life together here. This is what we consider to be our home now.”

Genevieve Parke, 34, who is seven months pregnant, marched carrying an EU flag and her two-year-old son Ernest, who was blowing his own crocodile-shaped trumpet.

Mrs Parke, who lives in London but is originally from Fermanagh close to the border in Northern Ireland, said: “Leaving the EU will have a polarising effect on communities at home again.

“I don’t want to go back to a border with guns and checkpoints. That will bring back a lot of horrible memories for people, if nothing else.”

Mathilda Fell, 14, is marching with her parents. The aspiring human rights lawyer from London fears her dreams of studying at university in Belgium or Holland might be thwarted by an EU exit.

She said: “I feel really let down that my voice, and the voice of young people, hasn’t been heard in the referendum. It’s my future that’s going to be affected.”

Bob Geldof urged Remain campaigners to take to the streets, speak to their neighbours and work to stop the UK’s exit from the EU.

He said: “We have two years where we need to find the energy, the strength, to not just pitch up in London on the lovely July Saturday.

“We need to individually organise ourselves. Organise those around us and do everything possible within our individual power to stop this country being totally destroyed.

“Right now this country is haemorrhaging its jobs, companies are preparing to leave because they simply will not be able to function in the way they have been up until now.”

Geldof, who launched a boat on the Thames to challenge Nigel Farage in a confrontation during the EU referendum campaign, said: “Farage lied to those fishermen, those coal miners.

“What he didn’t tell them is that the only way to stop austerity is to grow an economy. How do we grow an economy outside the biggest free trade club in the world?

“Forget the coming together and unity. Let’s get real. Properly serious like we are about our lives and jobs and relationships.

“Going online and tweeting your indignation is only venting into the ether. It achieves nothing.

“Come out. Take action amongst your friends, work colleagues and in your neighbourhoods.

“Don’t get angry. Respect them. Talk to them. Ask if they understand that with their vote to leave they took their country’s future with them.”

Back to the top of the page