Thousands March Through London To Protest Against Brexit Vote

Alistair Smout | Reuters

Thousands March Through London To Protest Against Brexit Vote
People hold banners during a demonstration against Britain's decision to leave the European Union, in central London, Britain July 2, 2016. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

LONDON (Reuters) – Thousands of demonstrators marched through central London on Saturday in a loud and colorful protest against last week’s vote to leave the European Union, a result that has plunged Britain into political chaos and which most people in the capital rejected.

Most protestors were young adults, and many were draped in EU flags while others waved banners bearing slogans like “I’m with EU” or simply “Wrexit.”

They chanted “what do we want to do? Stay in the EU,” as they marched towards the Westminster political district to a soundtrack of songs like Rick Astley’s 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up” and Whitney Houston’s “I Will always Love You.”

People hold banners during a demonstration against Britain's decision to leave the European Union, in central London, Britain July 2, 2016.  REUTERS/Paul Hackett
People hold banners during a demonstration against Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, in central London, Britain July 2, 2016. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

“I was genuinely stunned on the morning after the vote,” said one protester Nathaniel Samson, 25, from Hertfordshire north of London.

“I feel deeply uncertain about my future,” he added. “I’m on the march to voice my discontentment. I am accepting the result, but it’s to show that we won’t accept it quietly.”

Another, Italian Pamela Zoni, 34, who has lived in Britain for 6 years said she was very upset by the result and having second thoughts about taking British citizenship.

Protestors set off a flare during a demonstration at the Guildhall following Britain's decision to leave the European Union, in Southampton, Britain July 2, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Protestors set off a flare during a demonstration at the Guildhall following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, in Southampton, Britain July 2, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

“I would like a second referendum,” she said. “The first campaign was based on lies, and the margin was so tight: it was not a fair result.”

London voted 60 percent in favor of remaining in the EU in last Thursday’s referendum, with younger voters widely in favor of staying in the bloc, but 52 percent of Britons overall cast ballots in favor of leaving.

Rally organizer, King’s College graduate Kieran MacDermott, said: “We can prevent Brexit by refusing to accept the referendum as the final say and take our finger off the self-destruct button.”

Police officers line up in front of a demonstration against Britain's decision to leave the European Union, in Southampton, Britain July 2, 2016.  REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
Police officers line up in front of a demonstration against Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, in Southampton, Britain July 2, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Parliament should have the final say on whether Britain should leave, he told the BBC.

The vote to leave has prompted a battle within the ruling Conservative party to succeed Prime Minister David Cameron who said he would resign after the result.

The main opposition Labour Party has also turned on itself, with most of its lawmakers in parliament having voted to withdraw support for party leader Jeremy Corbyn after what they saw as his lackluster contribution to the referendum campaign.

(Writing by Stephen Addison; editing by Andy Bruce)