Central London| Thousands march in protest over Boris Johnson’s parliament suspension

Obinwannem News Parliament suspension: Thousands protest across the UK

Demonstrations are taking place across the UK against Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend Parliament in the run-up to Brexit.

Thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in cities including Manchester, Leeds, York and Belfast.

Parts of central London were brought to a standstill, with people chanting: “Boris Johnson, shame on you”.

A small group of counter-protesters, marching in support of the prime minister, also arrived in Westminster.

Mr Johnson’s plan to prorogue Parliament prompted an angry backlash from MPs and opponents of a no-deal Brexit when he announced it on Wednesday.

If the prorogation happens as expected, it will see Parliament closed for 23 working days.

Critics view the length and timing of the suspension – coming just weeks before the Brexit deadline on 31 October – as controversial.

Protesters in Manchester
Image captionThousands registered their interest in the protests – including in Manchester – on social media
Demonstrators protest the suspension of Parliament in Whitehall, central London
Image captionIn Whitehall, protesters gathered to hear from speakers including Labour’s shadow home secretary Diane Abbott

Protests are taking place in more than 30 towns and cities across the UK, including Edinburgh, Belfast, Cambridge, Exeter, Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham.

In London, demonstrators stopped traffic in Whitehall and the West End.

They also staged a sit-down protest in the roads around Trafalgar Square, before marching to Buckingham Palace shouting: “Whose democracy? Our democracy.”Skip Twitter post by @lpoolcouncil

Liverpool City Council@lpoolcouncil

#Liverpool’s #DefendOurDemocracy protest in full flow as large crowds continue to gather near @SGHLpool2093:36 PM – Aug 31, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy134 people are talking about thisReport

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Speaking at a rally in Glasgow, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the protesters’ message to the prime minister was: “No way do you take us out without a deal”.

“Demonstrations are taking place everywhere because people are angered and outraged about what is happening,” he added.

In Oxford, crowds holding banners gathered outside Balliol College, where Mr Johnson studied at university.

Protesters in Oxford
Image captionIn Oxford, protesters gathered outside Mr Johnson’s former college
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn speaking in Glasgow
Image captionMr Corbyn told the crowds in George Square, Glasgow, people are “angered and outraged”
Protests in York
Image captionMany of the protests – like the one in York – began at 11:00 BST, while others started at mid-day
Protesters outside Downing Street
Image captionThe protests were triggered by Mr Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament until 17 days before the Brexit deadline

Named “Stop the Coup”, the protests are organised by anti-Brexit campaign group Another Europe is Possible.

The group also said there were protests planned in Amsterdam, Berlin and the Latvian capital Riga.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott both addressed crowds in London.

Anti-Brexit protestors walk towards the Buckingham Palace in London, Britain
Image captionProtesters marched to Buckingham Palace, after the Queen formally approved Mr Johnson’s plan
Police kept a watchful eye on protesters as arguments broke out in Westminster
Image captionPolice kept a watchful eye on protesters as arguments broke out in Westminster

Speaking from a stage near Downing Street, Ms Abbott told protesters: “We cannot allow Boris Johnson to shut down Parliament and to shut down the voice of ordinary British people.”

Meanwhile in Bristol, former Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Williams said by suspending Parliament, Mr Johnson had left MPs “with about four days to make the most important decision of any of our lifetimes”.

Westminster Bridge was closed to traffic in the afternoon, along with Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square.

Protesters dressed as children's characters in Plymouth
Image captionProtesters dressed as children’s characters in Plymouth
Activists protest against Brexit and the British Parliament suspension in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany
Image captionBy late morning at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, small crowds had gathered – one of three protests abroad
Protest in Bristol
Image captionThe protest in Bristol had to be moved to College Green outside City Hall to avoid traffic problems

Chancellor Sajid Javid, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, defended the prime minister’s decision to suspend Parliament.

He said: “It’s quite usual this time of year for Parliament to go in to a recess. It’s perfectly correct and appropriate to prorogue Parliament.

“I think it’s absolutely right that this prime minister and his government get the chance to set up their agenda.”

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