As the People’s Vote March fast approaches, emotions are running high among the remain supporters in Stockport.
And what better way to give vent to those feelings than through some creative artwork…
Last night the Stockport for Europe action group held its placard making party at the Cafelito on Railway Road in preparation for the Put it to the People demonstration, taking place this Saturday in London.
The action group was set up in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum by retired modern languages teacher Evelyn Leslie.
It is part of a wider network of activist organisations, advocating for a second referendum. Last year it succeeded in getting Stockport Council to pass a motion backing another people’s vote.
The event began with a brief speech by Natalie Bennett, the former leader of the UK Green Party.
She rallied the meeting by suggesting that a people’s vote could be sanctioned by parliament in the early part of next week. Referencing a favourite Brexiteer slogan, she called on the public to take back control from Westminster and from giant multinationals, whom she described as “parasites on our society”, for not paying their taxes.
The way forward to a more democratic future was to convene a People’s Constitutional Convention to draw up a new and simple written constitution; to introduce proportional representation to create a fairer voting system and to devolve power away from Westminster to the regions.
Predicting that “the status quo is profoundly unstable and will not hold” and that “change is going to come and it’s going to come fast”, and with everything still to play for, she urged her audience to do all they could to keep the UK in Europe.
The speech was met with enthusiastic applause, whereupon the audience set about giving creative expression to their political passions. So what makes a good placard?
According to Pauline, the group’s artistic director, the best placards are those that come from the heart, such as the one at the last demonstration which simply read: “I’m so cross because I’m missing football for this.”
Taking this advice on board, a group of three friends, Jane, Christine and Becky, began to draw up their placard, depicting a bedraggled and confused Theresa May under the heading “Where’s the Wally of the People?”
Asked to explain the thought process behind the artwork, Jane explained:”We wanted to know where Will (Will of the people) was.
“We would like to get hold of this Will, but we couldn’t find him. So we think Will is Wally and she (Theresa May) is Wally.”
This will be the first demonstration that the three friends have attended. Their passion for their cause and their anger at the way in which they feel that their interests and concerns have been marginalised come through strongly.
Jane, 52, says: “I want my country back, because I feel that it has been stolen at the moment.”
Christine, 56, adds: “It is something I feel that passionately about, that I have got to do something.”
Throughout the evening the passions and frustrations of the group’s members is channelled into producing a fine collection of humorous and cutting political satire, all of which will be on display in London tomorrow.