People’s Vote March Features SFF Iconography

Left: James Bacon. Center: Emma King.

By James Bacon: I attended the People’s Vote March today in central London, which seeks to have a referendum about Brexit and whatever deal the country ends up with. A political matter not normally of interest here to Filers.  

I was expecting to see some interesting placards and posters but was quite astonished to see so many that were literary, media or genre related, and so Emma King and I, took photos to share due to this fascinating connection.  

[This BBC link will take you to an explanation of the march – and itself features some anti-Brexit cosplay.]

Many more photos follow the jump.

19 thoughts on “People’s Vote March Features SFF Iconography

  1. Love the Brexit Wars and Tellytubbies ones. There was some great humour on display – unfortunately my knees made me bail out at Green Park underground station after two and a quarter hours, as it was clear I’d never make it to Parliament Square!

    Rumour has it there may have been two million people there (the police don’t do official estimates any more, but that’s what they told the stewards, apparently). People around me had come from Belfast and Inverness (Inverness is around a 1200-mile round trip by road from London – Britain’s bigger than a lot of people think!).

  2. Not only a lot of fangeekery but a lot of British fandom was there, and much that wasn’t would have liked to. Our small detachment particularly cheered the big carboard placard which sailed by with a photo of Theresa May and DON’T YOU THINK SHE LOOKS TIRED?

  3. Aside from being interested in the state of the world and how it might affect our British friends, a specific concern for Filers is the future relationship between Ireland and Northern Ireland if Brexit really, truly takes place.. There must be a number of us planning to attend the Worldcon in Dublin and Titancon/Eurocon in Belfast the following weekend. What, we wonder, will crossing the border entail?

  4. “There must be a number of us planning to attend the Worldcon in Dublin and Titancon/Eurocon in Belfast the following weekend. What, we wonder, will crossing the border entail?”

    In 1995 we drove into Northern Ireland from the Republic. Passports were examined. Car was examined. And then sent onward.

    That said, the border was heavily guarded.

  5. @UK Filers: How usual is this kind of demonstration in the UK? 2 million seems like a lot of people for a demonstration with a short window of notice.

  6. @Lorien Gray

    The last really big protest/march/demonstration was 2003 (against the Iraq War), so not terribly often.

  7. @Michael J. Walsh: that was before the somewhat settlement of the Troubles; what I read on the Beeb suggests it’s a lot easier now, but will harden if the UK crashes out.

    Just in: Brexit: May urged to quit to help deal pass. Such gentlemen the Tories are!
    The outpatients are out in force: ‘Cancel Brexit’ petition woman receives death threats
    The above is real: Why bots probably aren’t gaming the ‘Cancel Brexit’ petition

    And a few days ago we had the spectacle of Trump claiming May should have followed his advice (roughly, to be a real hard-ass), which would have gotten the UK clear of the EU in a few months. I wonder if anybody has a prescription for reality deficiency?

  8. @Lorien Gray

    They’re not really common at all, but we’re a bit exercised by Brexit at the moment!

    The police no longer give public estimates of the size of demonstrations, as they view it as too “political” – they’d get blamed by someone if they over- or under-estimate the size of the crowd so they no longer officially bother. Until yesterday the record was held by the 2003 anti-Iraq War demo (back when they did give estimates) at 1 million; yesterday was comparable or larger. We had another People’s Vote march last October with a reckoned 600,000 – 700,000 attendance, which was quite a surprise to everyone, and there was a shorter one last June which attracted 100,000. (I should add that in my 60 years, these are the only times I’ve been sufficiently motivated to turn out and protest!).

    The pro-Brexit people are currently doing a 200+ mile “march” from Sunderland which is due to arrive at Parliament next Friday (the original Brexit day), but from the photos I’ve seen, they look very like a 40-50 person rambling club on a lengthy pub crawl, as they seem to start or end each days’ march in a pub car park. It was a mildly amusing reflection of the degree of Brexiteers’ planning ability that last Sunday, the second day of their march, they planned to cross the River Tees using a picturesque transporter bridge without realising that it doesn’t operate on Sundays so they had to do a five-mile detour.

    @Jerry Kaufman / @Michael J Walsh.

    We’d hope that you wouldn’t be affected at all, but the Irish border is the main reason Teresa May can’t get her deal through Parliament. Back in 1995 the security was because the Troubles were still a thing, right now there is effectively no border -the only thing you notice going north is that the road signs change from kilometres to miles and everyone is hoping that nothing will change (the issues are largely about whether there will be a customs border at the actual border (which would be viewed as contrary to the Good Friday Agreement), or whether it would be necessary to have one between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK (which the DUP are dead-set against). We live in interesting times!

  9. The problem is that currently, FIVE DAYS from the original deadline, nobody has any sort of clue what kind of border the UK will have in NI or indeed elsewhere. The Republic or the UK might close the borders, although how they woukd enforce that is anybody’s guess. There might be bombs. Aliens might invade. Herds of elephants in glittering rainbow color might materialise. Who knows? We’re all stockpiling cat food, toilet paper, and in my case, fountain pen ink.

    I used to hope that, as a friend wrote to her MP, our representatives might get their heads out of their asses and start being responsible adults, but I don’t see any chance of it. I am hoping somebody invades, maybe the Germans. Or better still the Scots. We would hold out for New Zealand (many signs pining for Jacinda yesterday) but we know they’re too far away and fed up with us anyway.

  10. The problem is that currently, FIVE DAYS from the original deadline, nobody has any sort of clue what kind of border the UK will have in NI or indeed elsewhere. The Republic or the UK might close the borders, although how they woukd enforce that is anybody’s guess. There might be bombs. Aliens might invade. Herds of elephants in glittering rainbow color might materialise. Who knows? We’re all stockpiling cat food, toilet paper, and in my case, fountain pen ink.

    This was why I finally decided in January to just say screw it and buy a TitanCon membership. If NI explodes into violence or turns into a post-apocalyptic wasteland, I’ll simply spend an extra weekend in the Republic of Ireland. Though if hordes of glittering rainbow elephants materialise, I will be there to take photos.

    I used to hope that, as a friend wrote to her MP, our representatives might get their heads out of their asses and start being responsible adults, but I don’t see any chance of it. I am hoping somebody invades, maybe the Germans. Or better still the Scots. We would hold out for New Zealand (many signs pining for Jacinda yesterday) but we know they’re too far away and fed up with us anyway.

    Sorry, not this time. We’re kind of busy with ourselves and besides, our military equipment has the unfortunate tendency to break down.

    Though a lot of Brits hold dual German citizenship by now anyway. I used to get maybe two or three UK birth or marriage certificates to translate per year. Since the Brexit referendum, I get three or four a month, all from Brits living in Germany who want to apply for citizenship. In the first few months of 2019, I got an extra surge, because even the hold-outs started to realise that this crap is really happening and that there might be no deal.

  11. One of the most surreal moments of this whole catastrophe was when, a couple days after the vote, Ian Paisley jr. said that he would gladly sign the application of any of his constituents that wanted to apply for an Irish passport (anybody can apply for Irish citizenship if they have one grandparent born in THE ISLAND of Ireland, Republic or Ulster).

  12. At one point, Nigel Farage himself was spotted queuing up outside the German embassy in London, trying to get a German passport because he has a German wife. I hope they sent him packing, especially since “I married a German citizen” doesn’t automatically entitle you to German citizenship on its own.

  13. anybody can apply for Irish citizenship if they have one grandparent born in THE ISLAND of Ireland, Republic or Ulster

    Or before…

    Not a fan of travelling, but I may need to track down who holds birth records from 19th century Ireland. At least I think I’ve got the correct year of birth for my grandfather, he was a bit ‘creative’ when he joined the Royal Flying Corps and landed up retiring from the RAF twice many years later…

  14. @Anna Feruglio Dal Dan,
    I wasn’t around when New Zealand joined the EEC in 1973 (which later became the EU) but it caused some grief as the UK was New Zealand’s largest export market:

    In the late 1930s Britain took more than 80% of New Zealand exports. By 1960 it took 53%, which reduced to 36% in 1970, and 5% in 2007.

    So now with the UK voting for Brexit & wanting to negotiate its own trade deal with New Zealand, it might not be high priority for New Zealand, as it is already in negotiations for a Free Trade deal with the EU.

    (Personally, I think Brexit is a mistake for the UK, for reasons too many to get into.)

    ETA: And Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern? She’s doing a brilliant job at the moment.

  15. Anna Feruglio Dal Dan on March 24, 2019 at 1:17 pm said:

    Dang, the closest I come is Uncle Mike, who was my grandfather’s brother-in-law. (Came to the US in 1906, landed in Phillie, headed to California because he had a aunt/cousin here. At least one of his brothers came later. I found the 1901 and 1911 censuses….)

  16. I think I have an Irish ancestor from around 1811. Kind of hard to prove – the name we have is Margaret Smith, and she married Robin McClarin, a Scot, and emigrated to the U.S. around that time. I’m descended on my mother’s side from their son John. But all of those are exceedingly common names, and it’s too far back anyway.

  17. I have a German great grandfather and an Irish great grandfather, but apparently that’s one generation too far removed. 🙁

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