A Chichester city centre protest against Government plans to prorogue Parliament was attended by an estimated 400 people at the weekend.
The UK is currently set to leave the EU on October 31 and fears about a no-deal Brexit have increasingly been raised from across the political spectrum.
Last week Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans to suspend Parliament, known as a prorogation, between early September and mid-October, with a Queen’s Speech taking place on October 14.
In response protests were held across the country on Saturday (August 31) with hundreds gathering at Chichester’s market cross to make their feelings known.
Labour’s Phil Wilson, who organised the Chichester demonstration, thanked everyone for attending. He said: “For over 400 people to demonstrate in Chichester, with only three days notice, shows the real strength of feeling over this issue.
“Individuals, organisations and political parties have put their differences aside and come together to unite in the face of a thoroughly undemocratic manoeuvre which excludes the voice of the people’s representatives at this crucial time in our country‘s history.”
Adrian Moss, the Lib Dem’s group leader at Chichester District Council, was one of the speakers on Saturday.
Speaking to the Observer before the weekend, he said: “Let’s make this clear we are supporters of staying in Europe but proroguing Parliament is about more than that it is about democracy and people being listened to. This is profoundly undemocratic.
“Locally we will continue to stand up for our residents and do everything we can to make sure they are not put at a disadvantage during these difficult times. Our residents deserve better than a government that attempt to govern without Parliament. We unreservedly condemn it.”
The Chichester Lib Dems acknowledged that Parliament would have been suspended for the conference season but with a Queen’s Speech now being put before Parliament it meant ‘time to debate Brexit and other legislation will be lost’.
Protester Jane Venn said “For the first time in my 52 years I feel threatened by a loss of democracy and frightened for the future. Protests like the one in Chichester today seem to be the only way that we, the people, can get our voices across.“
Meanwhile fellow protester, Terry Atkinson said: “This is not about Brexit. It is about our Parliamentary democracy versus dictatorship.”
Gabrielle Kim added: “I’ve lived through Prime Ministers I disliked and mistrusted, but this the first time in 58 years I have felt that the fundamental integrity of our country is at stake.”