We march for Europe

UPDATE | 03.09.2016

Today we saw a confident and unified pro-European cultural movement send a powerful message - Britain must continue to be at the heart of Europe - economically, socially, culturally.

Tens of thousands took to the streets of the UK, angered that proposed Brexit negotiations are seemingly taking place behind closed doors.  Today the public voiced their message that Britain and Europe are stronger united.

Fabien Riggall & Mark Thomas, Co-Founders of March for Europe

UPDATE | 21.07.2016

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm - it’s inspiring to see so many people feel as passionately about Britain’s future with Europe as we do.

What next?

On Saturday 3rd September we are coming together in great numbers to march for Europe.   A creative show of passion and unity will take place with hundreds of thousands of people protesting in multiple cities across the country, with the heart of the march congregating outside the Houses of Parliament in London.  

#paintitblue

Two days later, Parliament will reconvene to debate Britain’s future with Europe, and we want to make our message heard - Britain is stronger in Europe. We are asking you to come in large numbers, create a sea of blue, and help us build the most powerful and impactful march imaginable. Dress in blue, colour your faces and make striking signs and messaging around the theme: ‘Paint it Blue’.  Let’s get creative, and hold the most colourful and epic march so far.

Today, Parliament has broken for summer recess.  Whilst the political establishment descends into silly season, we are getting serious.  We will be organising events throughout the summer, building a mass cultural movement ready to challenge the Government from September.

Who are we?

We are a diverse team of people who have come together at a time of crisis.  On 2nd July we organised a powerful show of pro-European feeling that demonstrated a positive vision for our country’s future distinctly contrasted with the instances of public xenophobia and political power-play that were seen elsewhere.  Two of the protest’s original organisers, Mark Thomas and Fabien Riggall, are helping to take the movement forward and build up a team supported by more than 1,000 volunteers who have joined us in the past two weeks, as well as with the incredible support given by you.

What can you do?

We are a grassroots movement built entirely on ideas developed by members of the public.  The last march was a success thanks to the energy and creativity that everybody brought with them.  We want to hear from you, and we invite you to:

  • Register (if you haven’t done so already) via this form.  We will keep you informed of activities and hope you will spread the word.
  • Offer time or donate funds.  We have a lot to do and minimal resource, so we gratefully welcome all offers of time and/or funds.  
  • Promote the next event.  Follow us on social media, share the message with people you know and inspire others to join.

What do we believe?

  • We want Britain to be an integral part of the European Union.  We are resolute in our aim of preventing the current Government from triggering Article 50.  We want the UK to use its influence to drive forward reform for the EU to meet present and future challenges, from inside.  
  • We value a diverse society.  We understand the benefits of the principles of free movement, and we welcome people who wish to contribute to British life.  We understand Britain and Europe’s position within an increasingly globalised world.  We deplore the outbreak of racism that was stirred up and sanctioned by the Leave campaign.  We value the EU as a positive driver for peace.
  • We respect democracy.  We understand and value the principles of democracy.  We intend to exercise our democratic right to protest, to lobby our MPs, and to continue exposing the lies that were the foundation of the Leave campaign.
  • We feel unrepresented by the political establishment.  We are outraged at potentially losing our European citizenship thanks to the egos and ambitions of certain politicians.  We are worried by the lack of post-referendum planning, public consultation, and the appointment of a Prime Minister without a general election.  We are not aligned to any political party, and our supporters represent a spectrum of political persuasions and backgrounds.  
  • We encourage all forms of peaceful activism and cultural expression.  We believe that all people can influence political decisions via cultural activism.  We are working with artists, musicians, writers and thinkers to build a movement together.  We are not dictating the nature of the movement - we are shaping it together with you and we support everyone who wants to take action in line with our values.  

More than 50,000 people came together on July 2nd 2016.  It was a powerful beginning for our movement.  We want to build on this and help generate mass action across the country.

We will be shaping these protests with you, and look forward to working alongside you.

Thanks again for your support.

Best wishes,

Fabien Riggall & Mark Thomas, Co-Founders of March for Europe

The March for Europe Campaign is supported by the following people, with more signing up each day.

Bob Geldof, Musician and Political Activist
David Lammy, Labour MP
Billie JD Porter, Journalist & TV Presenter
Jarvis Cocker, Musician
Fabien Riggall, Organiser, March For Europe, Founder Secret Cinema
Mark Thomas, Organiser, March For Europe
Owen Jones , Columnist, Author and Political Activist
Michael Cashman, Labour LGBT Representative
Louis Karaolis, Human Rights Lawyer
Tim Farron, Leader Liberal Democrats
Catherine West, Labour MP
Phoebe English, Fashion Designer
Amelia Womack, Green Party Deputy Leader
Michael Salter, Chairman of Pride London
Lucy Caldicott, Social Activist for Diversity Role Models
Peter Tullin, Cultural Entrepreneur
Charlotte Church, Singer
Tessa Edwards, Film Maker
Gus Unger-Hamilton, Musician, Alt-J
Gabe Winn, Business Advisor for Stronger In Europe
Max Alexander, Theatre Director
Caroline Daniel, Journalist, Editor and Political Commentator
Steve Chandra Savale, Musician, Asian Dub Foundation
Adam Tudhope, Artist Manager
Carolyn Dailey, Creative Industries Entrepreneur
Jan Harlan, Film Producer
Jan Ledochowski, Financial Advisor and Political Activist
Aaron Michelle, European Public Policy Expert
Caroline Lucas, Green Party Politician
Rebecca O'Brien, Film Producer
Peter Jenkinson OBE, Cultural Entrepreneur

1200 individuals have expressed their interest in getting actively involved in building up March for Europe.


UPDATE | 13.07.2016

All. We want to keep you informed on what is happening in regards to the proposed march on the 30th. We have been advised by the Police that due to a bike race taking part in central london it will not be possible to march up to the houses of parliament. However we are looking to come together on this date and to stage something that has never been done before. We will be back soon. Stay with us. This movement is about you. We are not giving up...

UPDATE | 12.07.2016

Following the recent feedback received from everyone on March for Unity, we are in the process of moving everything back to March for Europe. We are also reviewing what is the best strategy to come together once more and move forward. Please share your thoughts and comments on the main Facebook page and other social media platforms so we can include this in our planning. 

STATEMENT | 11.07.2016

In response to the shock of the EU referendum result on 24th June, on Saturday 2nd July 2016 50,000 people joined the March for Europe, in a colourful, vibrant and peaceful protest through Central London ending in a large gathering in Parliament Square. March for Europe brought protesters from across the country to march through the streets of London with handmade signs, banners and placards. Pro-Europe songs were chanted, reflecting the people’s desire to come together, and face down the political chaos of recent weeks.

As the crowd assembled outside Westminster, they listened to speakers including Sir Bob Geldof, Owen Jones, Billie JD Porter, and MPs David Lammy, Catherine West and Tim Farron. Messages of support were sent from Charlotte Church, Caroline Lucas and Simon Schama and the crowd watched a special video sent by musicians Jarvis Cocker and Chili Gonzalez. Members of the public from 8 to 80 years old took to the stage, united in their desire to see Britain remain in Europe and search for a better and more positive way forward.

The event - the UK’s biggest political mobilisation of 2016 - was conceived by Mark Thomas (a self-employed web developer from Plymouth), and Keiran MacDermott (a 28 year old project manager from London), who set up separate Facebook petitions against ‘Brexit’, attracting thousands of supporters wanting to protest in the capital on 2nd July. Fabien Riggall (founder of Secret Cinema) came on board as joint organiser of the event and March for Europe was born - his team offered key production resources, while Michael Salter of Pride in London coordinated the volunteer stewarding on the day.

Following the March, the organisers Mark, Fabien and Keiran came together to discuss next steps. Under the banner ‘March for Europe, Mark and Fabien will look to help coordinate multiple marches across the UK on 30th July with the aim to bring 1 million people together marching for Britain to remain in Europe, putting pressure on Government to pause the activation of Article 50, and uniting and listening to each other when our current political leaders cannot.

March for Europe will help to build a new movement, one that comes together to build a joint vision of a new partnership with the continent. Creating a powerful connection to Europe and the European Union will make us stronger – politically, economically, culturally – and is an essential task that can only be done through positivity and inclusion. 

To continue building this movement we want to work with other groups across the country and fuel a conversation in a national day of unity – March for Unity on 30th July. Join us, to show that while our politicians squabble, this country can lead itself to a better future with Europe.

We want the Government to freeze the activation of Article 50. We believe that a period of democratic discussion is necessary so that the EU and the UK can outline the new form of partnership. Proceeding to Brexit when the country is divided and the consequences unclear and fraught with risk, is dangerous and there is a better way. We believe that it is critical that people have their say on this new relationship. We want to hear the views of all supporters on the best routes forward.