A group of 'Malagueños' were reunited for last Saturday's Put it to the People march in London. Numerous British residents living on the Costa del Sol and Costa Tropical travelled back to the UK especially for the protest, where they met up with Spaniards originally from the province who live in the UK. The Malagueños were joined by Bremain in Spain members and Spaniards who have made Britain their home.
John Moffett, Theresa O’Shea and Tamara Essex were among the Brits who travelled from Malaga airport to London for the weekend. Meanwhile while María Barquin, who is originally from Marbella but has lived in the UK for 19 years and currently works for the NHS, travelled from Cambridge to march.
She was joined by Malaga-born Mercedes Frías and her seven-year-old son, Martín, who was born in the UK. Mercedes and Martín came from their home in Kent to take part in the protest.
O’Shea, who has lived in Spain for over 20 years and was therefore unable to vote in the 2016 referendum told SUR, “I’m really pleased I came. It is so unfair that over an issue that affects us so much, so many of us were unable to vote, so I am voting with my feet.”
Carmen Ortega and José Luis Millet, originally from Vélez-Málaga, have lived in London for five years and both work as teachers in state primary schools in the capital. They didn’t want to miss the opportunity to show their support for another say on Brexit.
“As a Malagueña I have felt really welcome at today’s protest, with so many people supporting the option for the UK to remain in the EU,” said Ortega during the march.
Biggest demonstration to date
It proved to be the biggest anti-Brexit demonstration to date with over a million people taking to the streets to ask for another chance to vote on Brexit. The enormous array of flags from different EU countries as well as the blue and yellow EU flag and imaginative placards bearing messages such as “Don’t blame the Hungarians and Bulgarians; blame the Etonians” and “Ikea has better cabinets”, captured the attention of the international press and kept protesters entertained during the peaceful event.
The Put It To The People march set off from Park Lane at 12pm and ended with speeches at Parliament Square. Speakers included Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, pro-European politicians including Labour’s David Lammy, Scottish leader, Nicola Sturgeon, and the Green MP for Brighton and Hove, Caroline Lucas.
But it was veteran Conservative and life-long pro-European, Michael Heseltine, who gave the most stirring speech. He talked of witnessing “three wars in Europe” and said that he “shared the passion that [war] must never happen again.” He was applauded when he said, “Memories of those wars laid the foundations for what is the European Union today.” But the loudest applause came when he said, “You, the people, must be given the right to vote to remain.”
Protesters also spent the day looking at their mobile phones to check on the status of a UK Parliament petition to revoke Article 50, which has now been signed by over five million people. It has broken records and is the petition with the highest number of signatories every recorded. Conspiracy theories have surrounded the petition, with rumours that robots or Russian and North Korean forces are behind the record numbers. However, these appear to have been proven wrong and signatories are said to be largely genuine with 96 per cent coming from the UK, according to UK media sources.
Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn received heavy criticism for his absence from the protest, while there has been no official reaction from Theresa May to either Saturday’s march or the Article 50 petition. The focus on Monday morning was a cabinet meeting during which ministers were set to agree on whether to hold another meaningful vote on Tuesday.