Bath for Europe held its fifth Pulse of Europe under sunny skies on Sunday, July 2nd starting at Bath Abbey Churchyard at 2 pm. It was exciting to welcome new supporters and to see many familiar faces in the crowd. The event opened with soapbox speeches by Bath’s new MP Wera Hobhouse, German journalist Hendrik Bebber and university student Alex Jensen.
After giving an update on what has been happening in Parliament, Wera Hobhouse concluded, “Although the election wasn’t clear for the Tory Party, we are up against it again in terms of what is going to happen with Britain and our European partners…We need to keep fighting. It is patriotic to fight for the closest possible relationship with our European neighbours and find a sensible solution. That’s what I’m fighting for. We are not here to do the easy thing; we are here to do the right thing!”
Bath resident, Portsmouth University student Alex Jensen said, “We are gathered her today to celebrate our amazing continent and what it brings to our city.” He recognised the contributions made by EU nationals in every profession to our country. “They are also our family and friends. They are a fundamental part of our society yet now they find themselves on the wrong end of a decision in which they were denied a vote.” They have been left in limbo for a year and were then offered a dodgy deal by Prime Minister Theresa May.
German journalist and long-time Bath resident Hendrik Bebber spoke of the increasingly surreal situation that the UK finds itself in vis-à-vis the EU. He noted the shock and sadness that Germans felt at the prospect of the UK – “a country that is cool, calm and collected and believes in representative democracy” – suddenly decided to leave the EU. “It was like learning that a good and trusted friend had all of sudden indulged in self-harm.” He shared his political insights with a sense of wry humour.
The colourful procession then made its way through central Bath, led by drummer Steve Rouse of Swindon for Europe, punctuated with chants by the marchers. The event culminated in a ‘bring your own food’ picnic in the shade of Queen Square and a mini-fete with a ‘political’ coconut shy.