Inside the arena in Liverpool on Saturday night for the finale of the Eurovision Song Contest, the atmosphere was electric – but outside, it was arguably even more so.
Spreading a positive message
From the afternoon onwards, groups like National Rejoin March (NRM), Stay European, Sixteen Million Rising, ThankEUfortheMusic, and Liverpool4Europe were present to spread positive messages about rejoining the EU to the tens of thousands of people in the complex around the arena.
The groups were giving out EU flags to everyone who would take one (which was several). They also gave out stickers with the slogans “Rejoin” and “We want our star back” on them; these were very high in demand as people were queueing up to get them from us, and the Rejoin balloons were very popular with children.
The groups also handed out flyers telling everyone who we were and why we were there, containing a message with positive reasons to rejoin the EU, such as “no blocks to the creative arts”, “freedom of movement”, “a stronger economy” and “joined up thinking on helping refugees”.
Support for Rejoin
The flyers sparked much conversation with people all through the day about the disaster Brexit has been for our country and how rejoining is the real answer. People were especially receptive of that argument, with some even taking a flyer and telling us how they would love for us to rejoin the EU. As there were many people there from Europe, we were also thrilled to be told by them how they missed the UK being in the EU family and that they love our campaign and how they can’t wait to see us back, wishing us luck as they departed.
We were not shy of joining in the fun either, enjoying the party atmosphere – dressed in colourful blue and yellow, draped in big EU flags – people were even coming up to take photos with us. People of all ages and races were coming up to us to chat, walking away with flags, flyers, stickers and balloons. As the day went on, you simply couldn’t look in any direction without seeing the EU flags, Rejoin stickers and balloons in kids hands or hanging from buggies.
We also spotted a few of the placards we had made for the NRM in London last year. The people carrying the “For Freedom of Movement, #RejoinEU” placards had been at the march in London and said how they were inspired by people travelling from all across the country to be there for it, so thought they should do the same and travelled up to Liverpool to help spread the message.
The police on the day were especially supportive, letting us get our large banner out with the branding “Music Sounds Better With EU” across it for photo opportunities. They knew we were there with a positive message, and without saying the exact words (because they were on duty of course), made it pretty clear they were happy for us to be there.
A celebration of European culture
The whole day was a huge celebration of European culture and we were thrilled to be a part of it. It couldn’t have gone better in terms of spreading our positive message and the reception we received was amazing.
Thank you to all who came out for it and to everyone who stopped to say hello. This wasn’t a protest, more like a day of awareness. The UK, despite Brexit, still has the biggest and most active grassroots pro-EU community in Europe – and anyone who saw us on the day but wasn’t already aware of that, now are. We are and always will be European. And we will rejoin the EU, sooner than people think.