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BREXIT Protests in London, England

Two weeks ago, I was in London and happened to get caught in the middle of a protest against BREXIT and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament. Despite not being in my own country, I felt very included in the cause. Seeing signs like “DEFEND MIGRANTS” and “UK WELCOMES ALL PEOPLE” was very familiar to me, as protests against our own government regarding similar issues have been ongoing for the past couple of years. Although the protestors were angry with England’s current leadership, it was obvious their emotions were fueled by love for their fellow people and country.

The protestors were centered in downtown London, gathered around the gates of Downing Street, outside the offices and official residence of the Prime Minister. With European Union flags in their hands, they chanted “DEFEND DEMOCRACY” and “SHAME ON YOU” outside Boris Johnson’s gates. Other protestors came marching down The Mall, the long street that leads up to Buckingham Palace, while others were blocking traffic at the historic Trafalgar Square, shouting “YOU SHUT DOWN PARLIAMENT, WE SHUT DOWN THE STREETS”, while just steps away from London’s most iconic timepieces like Big Ben, the National Gallery, and Westminster Abbey.

European Union and United Kingdom flags waving in Trafalgar Square.

One of the most surprising aspects was how demographically diverse the protestors were. From elderly people to babies in strollers, all ages were present and fighting for the cause. Additionally, the people ranged from various racial groups, religions, and ethnicities. After talking to some of the protestors, I found out that many participants drove in from the countryside of England to come march in the capitol.

“DEMOCRACY ENDS HERE” written on the gates of Parliament.

Experiencing the reaction to such a global issue reminded me how important this matter is. Oftentimes, we can get immune to hearing about the same topics in the news, however, it is important to remember the weight these causes carry. As a global superpower, England’s politics affect far more than just those living in Britain, or even the European Union. It was evident that the protestors were not only fighting for their country’s future, but the future of the world. It is uplifting to know that the future of the country is driven by caring, forward-thinking citizens, who will fight for the betterment of their people and their land.

Arwa Madhwala is a senior at Loyola University Chicago. She is majoring in finance and minoring in Arabic. Arwa is also a member of Kappa Delta Sorority, and enjoys being involved on Loyola's campus with her sisters.
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