"Stop The Coup" Demo In Birmingham

31 August 2019, 08:57 | Updated: 31 August 2019, 09:01


One of 30 demonstrations across Britain, over the decision to suspend parliament before the Brexit deadline, is happening in the city.

Protesters are expected to flood the streets of Britain this weekend to rally against the Prime Minister's controversial plan to suspend Parliament.

In Birmingham a demonstration has been organised in Victoria Square at lunchtime.

Organisers are hoping hundreds of thousands of people will take to the streets across Britain on Saturday after a series of demonstrations on Friday evening.

They included Shrewsbury, where some 200 people gathered in a spontaneous rally against Mr Johnson's plans.

Anti-Brexit campaign group Another Europe Is Possible has planned 32 #StopTheCoup protests to take place in England, Scotland and Wales.

And left-wing group Momentum is calling on its members to "occupy bridges and blockade roads" in conjunction with unrest on the streets.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell urged Labour MPs to join the nationwide protest, calling the Prime Minister's decision to close Parliament for up to five weeks an attempt "to shut down democracy".

"As elected Labour MPs across the country represent their constituents by joining in these protests, I urge other MPs to think of their constituents whose jobs and livelihoods will be put at risk in a no-deal Brexit," Mr McDonnell said.

"If Boris Johnson wants a mandate, then he should call a general election and put it to the people."

The shadow chancellor is due to address youth movements at the main London protest at Downing Street on Saturday, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he will speak at a "major rally" in Salford.

Other demonstrations will be held in cities including Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, Swansea, Leeds, Belfast, Bristol and Aberdeen.

There will be rallies in smaller places including Bodmin, Cornwall, and Clotheroe, Lancashire, as well as Amsterdam's Dam Square and the outside the British Embassy in Riga, Latvia.

Further mass demonstrations, organised by the People's Assembly Against Austerity, are planned to take place on Tuesday to coincide with MPs returning to Westminster.

And the annual Westminster Dog of the Year competition, due to take place on Thursday, has been cancelled over safety concerns of the dogs and MPs taking part.

Both pro and anti-Brexit protesters clashed on Wednesday after the Queen approved an order that will see Parliament suspended for more than one month.

Laura Parker, Momentum's national co-ordinator, called the proroguing of Parliament a "loophole in our flawed democracy".

"There are thousands of people from all over the UK and across the political spectrum who will protest to stop Johnson closing the doors on our democracy," she said.

"No-one voted for this, and it's clear we need to urgently redesign our system to rebalance power away from the top."

The Jo Cox Foundation, which was set up in the wake of the Labour MP's murder in 2016, warned that anger over Brexit "should not spill over into something more dangerous".

The foundation said: "We believe strongly in freedom of speech. But we would urge everybody to avoid saying or doing anything that could incite or lead to violence."

The calls for protests come as a petition against the Prime Minister's plan to suspend Parliament racked up more than 1.64 million signatures early on Saturday morning.