Several thousand people took part in demonstrations on Saturday to denounce Prime Minister Boris Johnson's "coup d'etat" after his decision to suspend Parliament in the final stretch before Brexit.
Protesters gathered in Manchester (North West England), but also in Edinburgh (Scotland) and Belfast (Northern Ireland) under the slogan "Stop the coup", at the call from an organization opposed to Brexit launched in about thirty cities.
The biggest gathering started at midday in London, the British capital, in front of the Prime Minister's residence at 10 Downing Street, where a compact crowd was chanting "Boris Johnson, shame on you!" while sporting European flags.
On the billboards were slogans like "Democrats do not gag democracy" or "Wake up, United Kingdom! Or welcome to Germany 1933".
"What happens to Brexit must not depend on a decision by Boris Johnson, it has deprived Parliament of the power of decision, which is not democratic," said Bernard Hurley, an anti-Brexit of years interviewed by AFP.
The rally was somewhat disturbed when a dozen men with shaved heads, draped in the Union Jack, split the crowd under police escort, shouting, "What do we want?" Brexit! us now? "
– A "just" decision –
The Momentum movement, the left wing of the Labor Party, the main opposition group, also called for "occupying bridges and blocking roads".
The organizers said they expect "hundreds of thousands" of participants. British police did not provide a number.
Conservative Boris Johnson announced Wednesday the suspension of Parliament from the second week of September and until October 14, two weeks before the Brexit on October 31, causing a wave of indignation in the United Kingdom.
The Prime Minister has the right to do this, and he does it traditionally during the convention season of political parties in September. But this is the moment chosen and the duration of the suspension (five weeks) that are disputed by the opponents of a hard Brexit.
The leader is in fact suspected of wanting to prevent the deputies to block a Brexit without agreement, which he wishes to implement if he does not find a compromise with the EU on the conditions of the British exit. He defended himself, saying that he wanted to take advantage of this time to prepare and present his national policy program after taking office in late July.
For Finance Minister Sajid Javid, interviewed on the BBC on Saturday, it is a "fair" decision that allows the executive to focus "on people's priorities." He will present his budget priorities on Wednesday.
– Intense political week –
These rallies announce an intense political week, where the battle against the suspension of Parliament will also take place on the judicial and political fronts.
Parliament is back on Tuesday for a session that promises to be very stormy. MEPs will try to legislate to prevent a "no deal" and a motion of censure is also considered against the government, whose majority in the House of Commons is only one vote.
Boris Johnson warned them Friday against any attempt to block Brexit, saying it would "seriously jeopardize people's confidence in politics."
He had also announced the day before an acceleration of meetings between British and European negotiators, who meet twice a week in Brussels in September to try to find a solution to the thorny issue of the border between the two Ireland after Brexit.
Tuesday, a new protest is scheduled in London while Scotland's highest civilian body will consider on the merits a request for pro-European deputies to counter the suspension, after refusing to do so in the emergency Friday.
Former Conservative Prime Minister John Major has joined another lawsuit filed by anti-Brexit activist Gina Miller. The hearing is scheduled for September 5 in London.