August 28, 2019
With parliament in recess over summer, August in Westminster is typically marked by a state of quiet. 
A Democratic Outrage: Thousands Protest Boris Johnson Suspending Parliament
But on Wednesday night, just hours after it was revealed Boris Johnson had successfully petitioned the Queen to suspend parliament, the landmark College Green was anything but.
“Stop the coup,” thousands of protesters chanted just metres from parliament, EU flags forming a sea of blue and yellow. “Shove your Brexit up your arse,” was another cry.
“Around the world, people are fighting for the rights our prime minister is so callously giving away,” one of the organisers of the demonstration told the crowd. “Our prime minister must hear loud and clear from all over our country – this is a democratic outrage.” 
Johnson has insisted parliament is being shut down to allow him to set out his new “exciting” agenda in a speech by the Queen. 
But for those driven to the streets as the sun set over central London, the prime minister’s move – one that has sent shockwaves across the political world – is a bid to kill off attempts by MPs to block a no-deal Brexit. 
Blowing up balloons emblazoned with the EU flag near Westminster Abbey, James Hutchinson – a Lib Dem voter – called Johnson’s behaviour “terrifying”. “People say he’s just going to suspend parliament for this one thing, but how do we know it’s going to stop at that?,” he said, arguing that the country is having “a failure foisted onto us” in the form of a no-deal Brexit. 
The solution? “I would like to see a no-confidence vote and for us to get rid of an autocratic prime minister,” he added. “If that means Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister, then by all means.”
It’s an opinion shared by Patrick Hussain, a digital project manager. “We’re at the brink of the collapse of democracy and now feels like the time to do something.”
At the centre of the demonstration – which was organised by Labour’s Momentum, journalist Owen Jones and the group Another Europe Is Possible –  politicians, activists and citizens took to a makeshift podium to address the crowd. 
Among them was shadow home secretary Diane Abbott. “I am here to support this demonstration and say we have to stop the coup.” 
“It doesn’t matter where you stand on Brexit, as such,” the Labour frontbencher bellowed. “What matters is where you stand on Tory prime ministers closing down parliament.”A young woman from Chechnya also took to the stage, explaining how protesting in her home country could leave your life at risk. “I came to this country 10 years ago from Chechnya when everything was taken from me – my family, my home.
“Now a blonde man wants to take power… I came here to be in a free country. This country doesn’t belong to Boris Johnson – it belongs to you and me.” Back on the fringes of the protest, Pamela Wetherall and her husband John – both in their seventies – described how they had used their OAP Freedom Travel passes to get to the demonstration. “Boris basically paid for us to be here,” they joked.
“I’ve never been political before,” said Pamela, who hadn’t been to a protest until a few months ago. “But Brexit is so important to me and I’m resentful that they’re taking my EU citizenship away. 
“This latest step makes it more difficult for us to stop Brexit. We just feel helpless.” 
“I’m absolutely bloody disgusted with what Boris Johnson is doing,” another women – who asked not to be named – added. “This has landed in our laps and we feel so angry about it.”  
As the London protest waged on, demonstrators in Edinburgh, Manchester and Cambridge also took to the streets. 
With such anger among Remain voters – and some Brexiteers who oppose no-deal – it’s now a waiting game to see what, if anything, MPs can do to stop the prime minister. Related... Queen Approves Boris Johnson's Plan To Suspend Parliament Why Is Boris Johnson Proroguing Parliament? The Suspension Explained Ruth Davidson 'To Quit As Leader Of The Scottish Conservatives'
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