9 May is Europe day, a day for celebrating peace and cooperation in Europe.
On 8 May, which is, of course, VE Day, we remember how that peace was won. This year it fell on a Sunday, and at St John’s Smith Square a concert of tango, played by The Romano Viazzani Ensemble, was presented. The concert was preceded by a rally. Concert and rally were organised by Thank EU for the Music, in partnership with European Movement, Festival of Europe, with media partner The New European and co-sponsor Seeds of Italy. It was a celebration of the very cultural vibrancy many now fear is threatened in the UK.
Prior to the concert some speakers assembled outside Europe House, European Parliament Liaison Office in the UK, on Smith Square, just opposite the venue for the show. They included a number of activists, a scientist and a philosopher.
First to speak was, well, me. As a regular protestor with Steve Bray of SODEM outside parliament I told of the change in people that had become evident in recent months, the growing support we were receiving on the streets.
Then Louise Brown, as much a regular of SODEM outside parliament even though she lives in oop north, spoke of the complexity of the north, and how a notion of a “red wall” fails to account for the cities that voted remain, and mostly return Labour MPs.
Dr Mike Galsworthy, one of the key figures behind The Bylines Network, was next. He spoke of the cultural impact of Brexit, in terms of damage to science and the reduction of our soft power.
Then Professor A. C. Grayling gave his reasons to be hopeful, before Steve Bray, Mr Stop Brexit himself, brought the rally part of the event to a close.
The event was organised and run by Peter Benson, Charlie Grosvenor and Paulo Arrigo.
Audio/visual sources courtesy of Gareth Kearns, Sylvia Yukio Zamperini and Charlie Grosvenor