On Sunday, 5th March, more than 250 local pro-Europe supporters came together in the centre of Bath for the UK’s first Pulse of Europe, a vibrant celebration of the European Union’s core values of peace, freedom, equality, democracy and respect for human rights.
The upbeat event started next to Bath Abbey with performances by the colourful Fantasy Orchestra of Bristol. A one-minute “soapbox” enabled participants to air their views and share personal stories. “We can’t sleepwalk into a hard Brexit,” said local resident Jay Risbridger. “We need to take back control from a government that nobody elected and is completely illegitimate.”
Anna Beria, originally from Italy, described how she made her home in the UK over forty years ago and has raised her family here. “I regard myself as European,” she said. “More importantly, my daughters regard themselves as European. I want them to have the choice to continue to be.”
Following the speeches, the enthusiastic Europeans of all ages were led by the Fantasy Orchestra in a lively procession through the streets of central Bath. The mood was positive with music, flags and banners.
From its origin in Frankfurt, Pulse of Europe has spread across Germany, France and the Netherlands. Thousands gather at 2 PM on Sundays linking hands in a chain of support. Given that Bath voted strongly in favour of staying in the European Union at last June’s referendum, our city was the ideal site for the movement’s inaugural UK event.
The event was staged by the Bath for Europe campaign, which organises well-attended street stalls, lectures and demonstrations. It has already filled several coaches for the massive “Unite for Europe” march taking place in London on Saturday 25th March.
“The event was a fabulous success,” concluded Bath for Europe organiser Tony Ambrose. “We’re going to repeat it on the first Sunday of every month and make a huge impact in Bath. And Ben Howlett, our MP, needs to start listening to us. We know his heart is in Remain, and he needs to start to act for the future of the nation, rather than for the narrow interests of his party.”
Tony Ambrose also urged the crowd to:
- Put an EU flag in their window at home
- Register with Bath for Europe to receive updates on our events
- Join us on 25th March to be part of Bath’s presence in the national march on Parliament to stop Brexit
- Take part in future Pulse of Europe events in Bath which will be held on the first Sunday of each month at 2 PM at the same location.